The tasting of an olive oil is an important step which can be very satisfying. But to do it, there are a series of rules to follow. Almost a ritual.


First of all, take a glass with the oil and swirl it to dilute the part of the liquid that has been in contact with the air. Then take a small sip (about a teaspoon) and hold it in the mouth without swallowing. At this point, the oil is swirled across the tongue and the whole of the mouth, trying to mix it with air at the same time. During this action, known in jargon as stripping: contact of the oil with air releases the aromas even more, giving the full range of sensations.


Now, some of you may have had the chance to go to an oil tasting. And if this is the case, you’ll remember something very unusual. I’m talking about the smackingand slurping sounds that a taster makes when they have the oil in their mouths. In the defence of the tasters, it should be said that those noises, which for some people are a bit embarrassing, are in reality fundamental to appreciate the taste of an oil without altering the characteristics.


In the end, the small mouthful isn’t swallowed and is spat into a suitable container and, between tastings, it is necessary to clean the palate by eating a cracker or a piece of apple and by drinking some water. In this way, the taste buds can go back to a neutral state.


Ready, finally, for another tasting.