The purpose of tasting is to separate sensations in order to analyse, order, interpret and communicate them. Knowing how to recognise the aromas and nuances of a good oil is the first step towards immersing yourself one of the most fascinating gastronomic experiences.
- Don't wear perfume on the day of your tasting session.
- Wash using a fragrance-free soap.
- Don't smoke for at least 30 minutes before the tasting session begins.
- Don't eat or drink anything (except water) for at least one hour before the tasting session.
- Don't attend a tasting session if you have respiratory problems (a cold, allergies, etc.).
In the tasting session we use a special glass made of dark glass, as colour has no direct correlation to sensory characteristics.
HOW TO TASTE:
- Tilt and rotate the glass to moisten the internal walls. Make sure the glass is covered.
- Uncover the glass. Gently smell the sample for 30 seconds.
- If you fail to reach a conclusion, rest for a couple of minutes and then repeat the process.
- Note down the aromas you have identified.
- Take a tiny sip of the oil (around 3 ml).
- Swirl it around your mouth.
- Breathe in through your mouth to taste the finish. Some of the aromatic notes you noticed before will be confirmed, while others that at first seemed very intense may diminish.
- The oil should pass slowly along the back of your tongue towards the pillars of your palate and throat.
- Focus on the flavours you are experiencing. A) sweet, B) bitter, C) sour (which would indicate that the oil is tainted) and D) sharpness.
- Touch: consider the fluidity of the oil and how glutinous it is.
HOW TO TASTE OIL AT HOME
A cognac glass is most like an oil tasting glass and can easily concentrate the volatile compounds of the liquid due to its similar shape.
You can use your hand to cover the glass and hold it in your palm while rubbing it to ensure the sample reaches the desired temperature.