Taste: The variety of nuances in the many varieties of olive oils offers endless nuanced flavor possibilities. The three positive attributes of a fresh high-quality olive oil are fruitiness, bitterness, and pungency. Look for fruitiness when you smell it and the first taste on your tongue. You may smell and taste flavors like: cut grass, fresh herbs, tomato leaf, grass, green banana or apple, and green almonds. As the oil rolls over your tongue you will sense bitterness on the mid-palate with flavors like: artichoke, arugula, chicory, bitter greens, and green pepper. As you swallow the oil you will get a lively sensation of spicy pepperiness that may linger on even after you’ve finished. This burning sensation is actually the poweful antioxidant oleocanthal. Experiencing this sensation is the mark of a high polyphenol fresh oil.
Is my Olive Oil Rancid?
Defects in olive oil are much more common than you may think. There are three easy ways to identify the most common defects.
If your oil smells like crayons, old walnuts, olive tapenade, or turpentine it is probably rancid.
If you have any kind of waxy, greasy, or thick coating sensation on your tongue you have a poor-quality oil.
If you taste flavors like, wine, brininess (like olive tapenade), salami, or gym socks, your oil has been poorly processed and is not considered Extra Virgin.