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OLIVE OIL FACTS
Extra Virgin Olive Oil does not improve with age like wine. Peppery oil will sometimes mellow a little, but olive oil can oxidise and become rancid under the best storage conditions within a few years, therefore it is best consumed fresh. Store your oil in dark containers such as our stoneware bottle and for our infused oils store in a dark cupboard whilst not in use.
CONVERT RECIPES TO SUBSTITUTE OLIVE OIL FOR OTHER FATS
WHY USE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Olive Oil is higher in monounsaturated fat than any other oil – and monounsaturates lower LDL levels (the bad cholesterol) while leaving the beneficial HDL levels (the good cholesterol) intact. Olive Oil is also low in saturated fat, making it a healthy choice for the heart. Olive Oil helps the intestinal tract (decreasing gastric acid) and is high in healthy antioxidants. It is the only major cooking oil that can be produced by simply pressing the fruit, avoiding the use of chemicals or other agents. And of course, olive oil has a unique flavour that naturally enhances the taste of every dish.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL ‘THE BEST’
This oil is the top of the range in terms of health benefits and the amount of fruity olive flavour. This should be the main olive oil consumed. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is made from the perfect olives crushed as soon as possible after harvest and processed without the use of excessive heat.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil must be absolutely perfectly balanced in flavour and aroma with a free fatty acid level of no more than 0.8%.
Other types of olive oils available in Australia are –
HOW TO ORGANISE AN OLIVE OIL TASTING
The wine judges who swirl their wine around the glass and then their palate do not smile much, if at all. They gargle and gurgle the grape juice over their teeth. They roll their eyes, smack their lips, clench their tongue and spit into buckets. They hold their glass up to the light and under their nose. They frown and look learned as the scribble hieroglyphics into notepads or prepared sheets of paper. Of course, you’ve seen these red-faced judges as they pretend not to swallow even a drop of the nectar.
But you most probably have not seen the same sort of olfactory gymnastics and palate surfing by olive oil judges. Yet overseas and now here in yesterday’s butter and lard land, specialists sip, sniff and slurp to let the air get to the oil. They talk about the flavours and varieties and their various merits – Leccino, for instance, or Frantoio and Corregiola versus Kalamata or Picual. Naturally, as with wine, oils flavours change depending on the variety and climate conditions. “Sure”, the judges expouse, “oil has many similarities with wine. The exception is that wine usually matures with age whereas olive oil does not. When you get the olive oil straight from the press, that’s as good as it gets.”
OK. Let’s start with the premise that you have a group of like-minded people who would find it fun as well as educational to conduct an olive oil taste test. The whole idea is to taste as many different olive oils as possible so you become familiar with the wide range of available olive oils. A very cost-effective way is to split several bottles with a variety of mates. But if you can get everyone to bring a different bottle, so much the better.
Apart from your friends and their olive oil, you’ll also need a good quantity of quality bread – different types chunked and piled around the room or left in loaves so the participants can break their own bread is number one. Number two is to have lots of soda water so that your friends can clear their palates between oil tastings. I like to have fresh, crisp stalks of parsley, chunks of apple or other foods that won’t conflict with the flavour of the oil. Whatever, simply clean your palate as you proceed with the task of tasting the various oils.
The oil must be presented in clear glass so you and your friends can examine the various colours by holding the oils to the light.
Extra virgin olive oil may have a greenish-golden hue, whereas other grades may have a golden to pale yellow hue. Extra light olive oil will be seen to look very similar to a vegetable oil. It is also important to be aware of the different aroma various olive oils can present. Obviously, you would want to consume the oil with the most pleasing aroma. Fresh, fruit, flowery aromas can enhance the whole olive oil experience.
Roll a little of the selected olive oil around in your mouth to determine the oil’s texture. Use the tip of your tongue, the roof of your mouth and the centre of your tongue, as well as the back of your tongue to ensure the full taste experience. Then slowly swallow to what is called a “throat finish”. You’ll probably utter words like mild or mellow, olivey, fruity, nutty, zesty, peppery, subtle or delicate – but never horrible or awful, and definitely never YUK!
Once you get to this stage, and swirling oil around in your glass while you wear a slight frown on your face before it becomes a knowing smile, you can claim to be an olive oil connoisseur. Congratulations! But a warning! If I were you, I’d practise once or twice before trying the masked bottle trick.
And, remember! You don’t necessarily judge extra virgin olive oil by it colour. Each oil has its own unique colour, flavour and aroma, depending on the factors like region and climate, and where and how the olives were processed and how the oil was stored. As you would expect, and as with wines, extra virgin olive oils vary from season to season. However, there is one major difference between wine and olive oils. Fine oils should be consumed within a year or two.
So folks, bottoms up!
For more information on olive oil tasting as well as downloadable profile and scoring sheets click here.
Hickory's Run Organic Olive Grove Flinders Ranges South Austrailia
Phone: Intl - 61 8 8668 4284 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail: PO Box 5 Laura 5480, SA Australia
ABN: 60 439 909 755