How to Properly Taste Olive Oil

Staff Writer
Nicholas Coleman shares his tips for choosing this kitchen staple
Olive Oil Tasting
Ali Rosen

Olive Oil Tasting

Olive oil is a kitchen staple for any cook, but we often spend little time choosing our oils. Like a great wine, the terroir, production, and particular olive varietal used can have an impact on the flavor and how it would pair with a particular dish.

In the video above, Eataly’s oleologist (yes, this is a real profession), Nicholas Coleman shows how to properly taste olive oils to pick up the subtleties and differences. He says, "When we taste oil, you always want to put it in the palm of your hand and you want to taste it on it’s own, just like you would a glass of wine or a piece of cheese to see the flavor profile and that’ll give you ideas on how it’s going to function with the food." You hold the oil in the palm of your hand in order to warm it, put your other hand over the oil and move it around for 30 secods prior to tasting — this action allows the aromas of the oil come out.

Host Your Own Olive Oil Tasting

He warns against bias — color has no bearing on the flavor or quality of an oil, so professionals will actually taste out of blue glasses in order to minimize any color influences. Coleman’s advice is to taste each slowly, slurp the oil to aerate it, and then decide based on your own preferences. For more, check out the video above!