Gather Friends for a Fun and Educational Experience
Just like wines, olive oils come in a range of intensity, flavors and quality. Olive oils can be used for cooking, baking and finishing dishes. Hosting an olive oil tasting party will allow you and guests to experience the distinct differences in olive oils and learn new ways to incorporate into your daily life.
What You Will Need
In order to really get a sense of the different types of olive oils, we recommend tasting five single varietals in a range of intensities: mild, medium and robust. Request each guest contribute a bottle of olive oil and assign the intensity so you’re sure to get a good variety.
The best way to really taste the differences in the olive oils is to taste the oils by themselves. Each guest will need to have five small glasses or wine glasses. That can be a lot of glasses so the alternative is to pour the oils into individual, shallow bowls and use the bread to dip and taste each oil.
Provide chunks of bread and sliced apples. If sipping, both can be used as a palate cleanser between tastings. Chilled Rose wine also works well as a palate cleanser.
How to Taste Like a Professional
Swirl, Sniff, Slurp and Swallow Method — If you’re using glasses, start by swirling the olive oil, with one hand covering the top of the glass and the other on the bottom, warming the olive oil. Uncover the oil and deeply inhale the scent of the oil. Slurp (yes, forget what your momma told you about slurping). Have guests note whether the oil tastes fruity or spicy, heavy or light. Finally, swallow the oil. Have guests note what flavors linger in their mouths. After each oil, have guests sip water, wine and eat a piece of bread and/or apple slice.
Dunking Method — Have each guest take small pieces of bread to taste each oil. Have the guests talk about the differences in intensity with each oil and how each feels the oil could be used in cooking and the finishing of dishes.
At the end of the tasting, compare notes regarding preferences and differences in each oil.
Above all, have fun while learning something new!
Your Leaning Ladder friends,
Susan and Bridget
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