The juice of an olive is a very special source of nourishment: a vegetal oil (and so unsaturated) that can be completely digested,, which means it is an energy source that our body can use completely, without leaving waste.
A food source that is potentially rich in other substances(particularlyE vitamin and polyphenols, , powerful anti-oxidants that are important and useful for our health and our well-being.
The only real olive juice is called EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, a product defined by law as a “superior category olive oil obtained directly from olives and solely by mechanical means”. Not olive oil, not virgin olive oil, not pomace oil, not lampante oil, but EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. An unaltered fruit juice that does not contain any chemical substances.
Having established that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the only genuine olive juice, we must get deeper into the vast extra virgin world, which includes an infinite variety of products with different quality levels. Medium/low quality products actually exist: while complying with the minimum requisites established by the regulations, they stand out only for the very low price at which they are offered to the consumer. On the other hand there are high quality products characterized by the finest organoleptic properties and wonderful aromas and flavors
When we talk about an important product in the Mediterranean diet, we are referring to the second type. Therefore, how do we tell high quality oil from substandard oil? The answer is simple: we have to try it first.
It is actually only through a tasting with sensory analysis that we can judge oil. We shouldn’t look at its appearance or its colour, best to close our eyes and concentrate on what our senses of smell and taste are telling us.
After having poured oil into a glass and warmed it between our hands, covered to keep its aromas inside, we should bring it to our nose and breath in with both nostrils, concentrating on the received aromas and what our mind associates with those aromas.
Then put some oil in our mouth, and inhale some air to oxygenate the oil and let it come in contact with all our taste buds. Our concentration should focus on all the sensations, both gustatory and tactile, that slowly stand out while the oil goes from the beginning of our tongue to the end.
To recognize the quality of an extra virgin olive oil we have to try it and focus on the sensations that the tasting of a glass reveals to us.
The more an oil reminds us of the vegetal world, the finer it is, with its fruity, bitter and spicy flavours and aromas.
Here is a brief list of the merits and defects on oil that we can perceive thanks to sensory analysis, taken from the guide Flos Olei by the journalist Marco Oreggia.
One of the reasons for which tasting is so important when choosing an oil is in the role that oil has on our tables, that of dressing. The Italian dictionary defines it as a “substance that is added to meals to make them more pleasing to the taste”. It is therefore something that is used to enhance meals and to make them more pleasing and harmonious. So how can we choose oil that is right for a certain dish, if not by learning to taste it, to recognise and appreciate its characteristics?
The “Oil-Tasting Room” aims to be, in this sense, an invitation to everyone in paying attention when choosing a product, the extra virgin olive oil, that is able to completely change the balance of the meals, transforming our recipes, even everyday ones, into true masterpieces.