You can think of olive oil as a wine. Just as each grape variety imparts unique flavor profile to wines it creates, every olive varietal offers different flavor in finished oil. The flavor profile of any olive oil will play a big role in certain recipe that you would want to use it for. Below are some of the flavors or kinds of olive oil you can choose from:
These mellow flavored oils are light on palate and not really overwhelming. These are used when creating your own aioli at your home and can be used for frying. Some of fruity varietals are Koroneiki and Arbequina.
As its name implies, peppery olive oils have spicy and pepper-like flavor and burn on your tongue or back of your throat. Young or unripened olives are the most bitter. It’s the most favorite kind for dipping bread. A peppery varietal is Coratina.
Olive oils that are full-bodied basically have the thickest oily mouth-feel. The unctuousness is the term called for that feel. If the olive oil is more full-bodied, the richer it’ll feel on palate. These olive oils are great for salad dressings and dipping breads. The varietals that you should watch for are Mission, Leccino, and Empeltre.
Such oils taste like herbs or grass on one’s tongue. Greener tasting olive oil is paired best with vegetables where brightness can definitely shine. The varietals that you must watch for are Picual, Mission, and Frantoio.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Olive Oil
The first thing you should look for is the harvest date of the olive oil. Remember that unlike wine, olive oil doesn’t get better with age. Therefore, you must aim to use it within 2-3 years after its harvest date. The closer you can purchase it to its harvest date, the stronger the flavor will while olive oil has aged too much will start to taste rancid. No matter what the harvest date is, you must use olive oil within 3 to 5 months after opening the bottle. The reason behind it is that repeated exposure to oxygen can reduce the flavor’s quality.
There are different varieties of olive or known as cultivars. Every variety has unique characteristics in texture, color, and aroma. Knowing the olive cultivar used for producing oil will provide you an insight to how it’ll taste.
- Unfiltered or Filtered
There’s an optional filtration step in the process of olive oil creation. This process gets rid of the olive particles that are suspended in the oil. Other producers want to filter olive oil, which some don’t prefer this process. Although it doesn’t affect the quality of olive oil, you must know your preferences.
- Personal Taste
Every olive oil is unique. It is important to taste and smell olive oils to know how you will best enjoy it at your home or in one of the best Italy Luxury Villas. The golden rule is to eat what you really like.
Let Sabrina and her team assist you with your next trip adding an Olive Oil tasting in Liguria, Tuscany, Calabria or in Greece or Spain.