This post brought to you by Carapelli. All opinions are 100% mine.
I'm the first to admit that I'm far from being an expert chef and, for that matter, I don't know much about cooking.
However, most anyone that has set foot in a kitchen before knows that the meal that they are setting out to create is only going to be as good as its ingredients, right?
One such necessity used in so many dishes of all kinds is the much-loved, always-versatile olive oil. And no one knows better what constitutes a good quality olive oil than Carapelli Olive Oil.
When you think Tuscany and Olive Oil, Carapelli Olive Oil should come to mind. With its headquarters right outside the beautiful city of Florence, Carapelli Olive Oil has been making olive oil since 1893 and now reigns as Italy’s No. 1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
As a leader in olive oil, Carapelli was the first producer to promote bottled extra virgin olive oil in Italy. The company also instituted a quality certification program that meets and exceeds the extensive, strict quality specifications required in Europe and the United States, that it adheres to today. The reason is simple: provide consumers with reassurance about the consistent, premium quality of Carapelli Olive Oils.
Carapelli’s Master Tasters craft the exclusive blends of the best oils from the finest Mediterranean olive groves and today’s distinctive line of Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oils includes three varieties:
Premium 100% Italian – made solely from the first cold pressing of the finest 100% Italian olives with an intense, robust flavor and aroma
Il Numerato – a supremely smooth and low acidity oil that is a result of a delicate cold pressing
Organic – Obtained only from organically grown olives and produced according to organic farming standards; certified USDA organic
But once you've purchased your bottle of olive oil, how do you know if it is the best? A taste testing, of course!
When a bottle of Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (one of the Premium 100% Italian varieties) arrived, I found that I had never thought about tasting olive oil just like you would do wine. Fortunately, Carapelli had the steps all laid out with helpful hints.
Start by pouring about a tablespoon of olive oil into a blue glass (Olive Oil Master Tasters use a small, stemless blue glass because it conceals the color, which is not an indicator of quality, and the round shapes fits in the palm of your hand so the oil warms and releases its aroma) and gently warm it by covering the glass with one hand and holding the bowl of the glass in the other.
Then it's time for The Four S’s of olive oil tasting: Swirl, Sniff, Slurp and Swallow
Swirl – By swirling the olive oil in your glass, you release the oil’s esters, which are the molecules that contain the aroma.
Sniff – Now inhale deeply. The aroma is the key to the fruitiness of the oil. Is it intense or is it
Slurp – Sip the oil while “sipping” in a bit of air. This slurping action emulsifies the oil and helps spread it throughout your mouth. Take note of the various tastes and sensations. Is it fruity, peppery, smooth?
Swallow – Once you swallow the oil, it should leave your mouth with no aftertaste. Again, take note of any peppery or stinging sensation in your throat.
Although I don't own a blue glass, I was still ready to take part in my Olive Oil Taste Test and was interested in what I would find. Pouring a small amount into a small glass, I warmed it in my hand for a bit before moving on to the Four S's.
First I swirled...
Then I sniffed...
Next I slurped...
Finally I swallowed...
Look at me! I'm a master taster!
The result? It was good! I'm still far from being an expert on olive oil, but I enjoyed tasting the flavor completely on its own, as opposed to in a meal or by dipping bread or various other ways that I was used to. Instead, this allowed me to really get a sense of the distinct flavor characteristics... while having a good time pretending to be an Olive Oil Master Taster!
Carapelli Olive Oil believes that cooking is more than just preparing food, so why not include the very best? Visit their website to find out much more about their high quality products and be sure to print a $1.00 OFF coupon at www.CarapelliUSA.com before heading to the store to pick up a bottle of your own.