Perhaps you are familiar with the duties of a wine sommelier, but have you ever heard of an olive oil sommelier? Indeed, there is such a thing. And this strange profession does seem like quite the adventure. Is the majority of one’s day spent downing bottles of extra-virgin olive oil? In reality, it entails a great deal more than just preparing a tasty salad dressing.
“In order to become a sommelier of olive oil, one must learn how to correctly taste olive oils. Marisa Bloch Gaytan, a Level 2 olive oil sommelier and the master blender for the California olive oil firm Pasolivo, explains that this involves tasting oils and recognizing where they originate from, and what kind they are, and some of the flavour notes that they have. “A sommelier also learns how to recognize defective olive oils, including things such as rancidity, oxidation, fusty or musty characteristics, etc.,” adding that olive oil sommeliers also know how to pair various olive oils with foods in order to properly bring out the best flavours in the olive oils.
Who are olive oil sommeliers?
“In order for an olive oil to be deemed and classified as ‘extra virgin,’ it must pass both chemical and organoleptic testing,” says Salvatore Russo Tiesi, CEO of Bono USA Inc, the US Subsidiary of Bonolio SRL, an extra-virgin olive oil company based in Sicily. “An olive oil sommelier is an important figure because in order for an oil to be deemed and classified as ‘extra virgin,’ it must (Just so you know, the term “organoleptic” refers to the sensory experience that you have with a meal, water, or other item, including how it tastes, smells, looks, and feels.) Since of this, the subjective tasting and classification of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is an essential role in the field of olive oil because it gives confirmation of an olive oil’s position. This “choice” has a large amount of weight due to the fact that extra-virgin olive oil is more valuable in terms of value, perception, and the health advantages it provides in comparison to olive oil that is not extra-virgin.
The world-famous ONAOO School, which also happens to be the school that has been operating the longest, is where Bono’s team of certified sommeliers got their training. Olive oil sommeliers have a very significant job that may have a direct impact on the position and categorization of olive oil in the industry, as Russo Tiesi explains. This is because the quality of olive oil is directly related to their work.
Now that we have a better idea of what an olive oil sommelier performs, let’s have a look at what these industry professionals want us to know about the most popular cooking oil.
Avoid concentrating on the color.
“Colour does not matter! According to Russo Tiesi, a sommelier will taste and evaluate extra virgin olive oil in either blue or red glasses in order to prevent the mind from automatically associating color with quality. This is something that the mind does as a matter of course. The color of extra-virgin olive oil may reveal the kind of olives that were used in its production, but it does not provide any information about the oil’s quality.
The finest olive oil is new.
It is important to note that the date of harvest is not the same as the date of bottling; the latter is always closer in time to the present than the former. Bloch Gaytan suggests consuming olive oil within two years after the harvest date. “Some oils can go past that mark,” she says, “but it is important to taste the oil and know when it is starting to turn because you will no longer be getting the health benefits that fresh extra-virgin olive oils provide.” “Some oils can go past that mark,” she says. “But it is important to taste the oil and know when it is starting to turn because it is important to know when it
When shopping for olive oil, Bloch Gaytan recommends keeping an eye out for a “Harvest” or “Best By” date on the bottle. Not all oils have this, and “many oils will just have a bottling date, but it tells you nothing about when the oil was made or when it should be used by,” according to the manufacturer of many oils.
Choose olive oil that comes from a single country.
“Many oils will indicate that they are a mix from Italy, Greece, Spain, etc.,” explains Bloch Gaytan. “Many oils will declare that they are from Italy, Greece, Spain, etc.” Although she admits that this may have a romantic ring to it, the fact of the matter is that all of those oils had to be transported to the location where they were finally bottled. According to Bloch Gaytan, this not only lengthens the amount of time that must pass before the product can be purchased by customers, but it also puts the product at a greater risk of having quality problems as a result of its exposure to unwelcome factors such as light and heat. Olive oil should be kept away from light and heat to preserve its quality.
Additionally, Russo Tiesi emphasizes the significance of only purchasing extra-virgin olive oil that is produced in a single nation. He recommends that consumers look for products that have been granted a Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) designation.
When searching for extra-virgin olive oil at the grocery store, it is important to exercise caution.
Bloch Gaytan warns that just because olive oil is labelled “extra virgin” does not mean that it really is an extra-virgin olive oil. “Because the FDA does not aggressively control olive oil imports, there are numerous oils on the market that would not pass extra-virgin certification even if they are marked as such,” she adds. “The FDA does not heavily oversee olive oil exports.” Because of this, she suggests making purchases directly from reputable producers whenever it is feasible to do so. When shopping for extra virgin olive oil at a grocery store, you should search for items that have oil sourced from a single nation, a “Harvest” or “Best By” date, and a container made of dark glass. “Green glass is okay, but something that completely blocks oil from the light is better,” says Bloch Gaytan. Light is one of the key factors that turn olive oils, and supermarkets have very bright lighting. Green glass is one option, but something that completely blocks oil from the light is preferable.
Pick an olive oil whose flavour you appreciate the most.
“A high-quality extra-virgin olive oil should have a flavor profile that is pleasing to the palate. Bloch Gaytan believes that high-quality olive oil should have a flavor that is reminiscent of olives. You ought to be able to get a good flavour of the olives, including the bitterness and pungency that are among of their more admirable qualities. If the flavor of your oil is really unremarkable, you may want to reconsider.” Are you unsure whether or not your extra-virgin olive oil is about to become rancid? It is not a good sign if, after tasting an oil, you find that it leaves a particularly greasy residue left on your lips. It’s possible that this means the oil has already begun to change. According to the advice of the sommeliers, when in doubt, throw it out.
You are able to cook with it, and you really ought to.
Olive oil is often misunderstood by home chefs, who mistakenly believe it should only be used for finishing meals and producing vinaigrettes. According to Bloch Gaytan, many people have the misconception that olive oil can only be used as a finishing ingredient. However, olive oils of good quality have a smoke point of up to 218 degrees Celsius and may, in fact, significantly improve the meals that you are creating.
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