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Tasting

The tasting of a virgin olive oil is a sensory analysis that serves to determine its quality. Determining the attributes of an oil is the goal we pursue.

Positive attributes:

. Fruitiness Set of olfactory sensations characteristic of the olive oil, depending on the variety of the olives, coming from healthy and fresh fruits, green or ripe and perceived directly or in a retronasal way. . Bitter Flavor characteristic of the olive oil obtained from green or veined olives. . Spicy Tactile sensation of hot spicy, characteristic of the oils obtained at the beginning of the campaign, mainly those obtained from green olives.

Negative attributes:

.Atrojado / Borras. Flavor characteristic of the oil obtained from olives that have undergone an anaerobic fermentation process. This is due to the olives being storedfor a long timewaitingto be mild while suffering the weight of too many kilograms of some other olives above them. A “troje” was an old recipient used to transport and store the olives, usually made with esparto. . Mold / Moisture Flavor characteristic of the oil obtained from olives in which fungi and yeasts have developed due to humidity. . Avinado / Avinagrado Characteristic flavor of some oils reminiscent of wine or vinegar. It is mainly due to an aerobic fermentative process. . Rancid Flavor of oils that have undergone an intense oxidative process. Spoiled milk is a typical example of rancid flavor. . Cooked / Burned Flavor characteristic of the oil when exposed to an excessive and / or prolonged heating during the thermo-whipping of the dough. . Hay / Wood Flavor characteristic of some oils extracted from dry olives.

The tasting methodology is simple, although it is the continuous experience that makes it possible to master this discipline. The sample to be tasted is found in the tasting glasses, placed there by the panel leader, who marks them with an unrecognizable code, without names or marks, so as not to influence the tasters. We must face the sample without strong odors or perfumes and with enough time between meals. On a tasting sheet, both positive and negative attributes are marked on a line. The panel leader is in charge of collecting and analyzing the results, and calculating the medians of the different attributes to qualify the oil in the corresponding category. As a trick for beginners it must be said that an extra virgin oil is a natural juice, therefore, it should taste and smell like fresh olives, without strange tastes or smells, just fruit.

Finally we would like to comment that in the blog we will try to go deeper into the tasting process. If you are in a position to prepare a group of people for a tasting (cooking clubs, municipal activities, etc.) we could participate in organizing it.

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