Extra-virgin olive oil is the main protagonist of Mediterranean cuisine, its genuine character, its lightness and fragrance make it indispensable in any kind of diet and it is essential in maintaining perfect physical fitness. It isn’t necessary to be an expert taster to know how to recognise and distinguish a good oil, you just need to know a few tricks of the trade. This is where you begin:
– – Pour a small amount of oil into a small glass, cover it with one hand and warm it with the palm of the other. Bring the glass to your nose and breathe in three times, waiting between breaths so as not to overwhelm your taste buds.
– – Hold a few drops of oil in your mouth for a minute or two to heat it up and allow some of the volatile compounds to evaporate.
– – Take a good breath through your mouth which is strong and decisive, taking care that the oil doesn’t go down your throat. This technique, called stripping, oxygenates the oil, giving a more intense experience of its flavours.
– F- Roll the oil round in your mouth so that it can make contact with all taste buds. The warming of the oil, its oxygenation and circulation in your mouth allows you to perceive the qualities and defects of the oil with greater accuracy.
At the end of the operations described above the oil will be distributed throughout your mouth. This is the point when you need to concentrate on the type of sensory stimuli and the order in which you notice them. They range from those of a tactile nature, including the oil’s fluidity, consistency and oiliness to those involving taste alone, with the perception of the different flavours: sweet, bitter and spicy hot.
After you have tried a good oil you should try it on your food. It enriches the food’s flavours and it helps you to discover a natural, true, authentic and original taste.