How to Taste Olive Oil
Here are Five Tips
Jennifer Driscoll scrubs a dab of olive oil between her hands. When it's warm, she can smell the aromas of creamy almonds, tomatoes and bananas, for example.
She sips it and gets a kick of pepper in the back of her throat. That’s a good thing, she says. The more pepper, the more health benefits, she tells customers at her store InfuseMe in West Lebanon.
Customers taste olive oil as though it's wine at Driscoll’s store. She has tiny shot glasses of extra virgin, virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar all over the place and she teaches customers to notice the flavor differences in each variety.
"We’re pretty much a full-fledged tasting center," said Driscoll, who has been trained by industry experts in California.
At a time when 80 percent of the olive oil sold in the United States has been found wrongly labeled, according to a 60 Minutes report last year, Driscoll has some tips.
Driscoll's Five Tips:
- Do a taste test. Hold the olive oil in the back of your throat before swallowing. "You're looking for that peppery taste," Driscoll said.
- Do a sniff test. Warming the olive oil between your hands should bring out the smell of each olive variety.
- Don’t let extra virgin olive oil stay on your shelf too long. “Most people don’t realize it’s a fruit, it will go bad,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll gets her olive oil from all over the world, switching hemispheres every six months to wherever olives are fresh at the time.
- If you can, check the DAG Score, which tests the olive oil’s age by measuring its chemical makeup. If the score falls below 40, (industry standard), it’s time to toss it out.
Is balsamic vinegar real?
- Check the list of ingredients. See white wine in your balsamic vinegar? Then it's probably not balsamic vinegar. The first ingredient should be grape must.