How to Taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Taking into consideration the numerous olive oil types available in the market, it is an imperative need for buyers or consumers to learn how to taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Developing tasting skills will be really helpful for everyone interested to know which extra virgin olive oil matches better with their flavors or even with their cooking recipes.
Just follow our 6 Steps Guide and start developing your tasting skills!
You will need:
– 5 tasting glasses (experts use blue –tinted glasses as color is not an indication of quality. However, plastic caps can be also used instead).
– Different oils for comparison.
1. Place one or two tablespoons of each oil into the tasting caps.
2. Warm the oil of the first cap with your hand and close the cap with the other hand. Heat will help olive oil to release its aromas.
3. Bring the cup to your nose, inhaling deeply and note down what sensations each oil gives you (e.g. freshness, fruitiness, ripeness etc.).
4. After smelling all the caps, put them in order by starting from the one with the weakest smell to the one with the stronger.
5. Starting from the cap with the weakest smell, sip some of the oil and round it in your mouth. Suck in some air and swallow at least some of it in order to feel the taste in your throat.
6. Continue the same procedure with the other caps.
*Before moving on to the next cap, cleanse your palate with some water or slices of apple/ bread.
You will be surprised with all the differences you will find!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – All you need to know!
Olive fruit is one of the most beneficial natural crops, because of its essential advantages for human health.
However, among the oils extracted from olives, only Extra Virgin is able to provide your health all the beneficial characteristic the olive oil is known for. Recognising its high nutritional value, we gathered for you all the information that will help you recognise a qualitative Extra Virgin Olive Oil!
Acidity: one of the most important factors that can help us recognize a “good” olive oil. Is defined as percentage of free fatty acids in 100 grams of oil. In order to define an olive oil as extra virgin, its acidity level should be less than 0.8%. “The lower the acidity level is, the more premium the olive oil will be”.
Cold extracted: olive oil extracted in temperature that never exceeds 27 ºC. Cold extracted oils retain all of their flavor, aroma, and nutritional value.
Early harvest: olive oil made from olives at early ripeness at the beginning of the new season crop.
Fruitiness: positive attribute of extra virgin olive oil that depends on the variety and comes from fresh olives, either ripe or unripe. Сomplete lack of this characteristic signifies that the oil tasting is not olive oil. However, really low tensity signifies that the olive oil is not extra virgin.
Pungent: positive attribute of extra virgin olive oil, common characteristic of oils produced at the start of the new crop from olives that are still unripe. It is perceived on the upper part of the throat.
Bitter: positive attribute of extra virgin olive oil, common characteristic of olive oils obtained from green olives or olives that are now getting mature. It is perceived on the V region of the tongue. “Because Bitter is Better!”
Make the right choice!
5 Good Reasons Why You Should Eat More Olives
Olives are considered one of the most important fruit crops in the Mediterranean territory. In Greece, there are several varieties of edible olives, mainly represented by Kalamata olives and “Chalkidiki” green olives, amongst others. But what are the key elements that make this crop so special?
1. High nutritional value:
Scientific research has confirmed the high nutritional value and the antioxidant action of edible olives, as they are rich in fiber, minerals, monounsaturated fat and vitamin E (improve skin, nails and hair).
2. Delicious Taste:
Olives are generally considered one of the tastiest appetizers, available in many different variations. Kalamata or Chalkidiki Green Olives, pitted and stuffed with almond, sweet pepper or garlic, marinated with chili herbs, lemon peels, sweet pepper or garlic are some exceptional and traditional combinations.
3. Easy Snack:
Natural Olives can be the ideal appetizer of every meal of yours, ideal snack for your drinks or your summer cocktails.
4. Ideal for a Healthy Diet:
Olive Oil and Olives are amongst the most important key factors of the Mediterranean Diet. They are the ideal choice for a healthy and balanced diet.
5. Natural & Gluten Free:
Natural Olives are the ideal choice for a gluten free, vegan or vegetarian diet.
Are you ready to change your eating habits? Make a clever choice!
How to Experience the Authentic Greek Summer
Οne of the most beautiful countries in the Mediterranean Region, known for its natural beauty, the breathtaking sunset, the islands, the countless blue coasts, the traditional recipes, tasty appetizers and aromas.
Greece is among the most famous summer destinations in the world, with millions of visitors every year.
But, what are the main Greek vacations habits that can surely guarantee an authentic Greek Summer Experience?
One of the most favorite Greek habits, especially during a typical hot summer day. If ever visiting Greece, be sure that you will have your breakfast served by the sea, tasting seasonal fruits, traditional pies with Feta cheese or vegetables, olive bread, fresh orange juice and homemade traditional marmalades.
After a refreshing swim in the sea, the best choice is a tasty lunch served at a traditional tavern next to the sea. Feel free to discover the traditional Mediterranean flavours, tasting appetizers such as wine leaves with rice, red peppers and mushrooms stuffed with cheese, grilled octopus with olive oil and vinegar and fried squids. Typical complement with Greek appetizers is the traditional Greek salad (“horiatiki”) with Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kalamata olives and a glass of ouzo.
Discover the “hidden secrets” of the place visiting. If ever find yourself in a Greek summer destination, you will surely be carried away walking on foot for hours, looking or shopping in the traditional small shops: souvenirs, accessories, clothes, traditional herbs and spices, bottles of Greek extra virgin olive oil, jars with olives, homemade sweets or marmalades. The best way to “carry” Greece back home!
Greece combines beautiful sea coasts and hills in the same place, providing visitor the opportunity to observe the endless sea or the breathtaking sunset from above. An ice-cream will be surely a good choice!
What would be a better way to close your day? A cocktail, a glass of wine or a cold beer next by the sea.
These are some of the reasons why millions of people love visiting Greece for their summer holidays.
Do it like a Greek and you will surely enjoy an authentic summer experience!
Under the Greek Sun
Sun drying is one of the oldest preservative techniques, commonly used in Ancient Greece.
The need of preserving summer fruits and vegetables during winter contributed to this invention, in order to preserve their summer aromas along the year.
In Greece, one of the most popular and traditional sun dried food is Sun Dried Tomatoes.
During sun drying process, tomatoes are let for 4 to 10 days under the sun’s natural heat in order to develop their so praized by culinary experts and gourmets characteristics. After this process, tomatoes might lose up to 93% of their initial weight, however, they will keep their nutritional value.
Sun Dried Tomatoes are amongst the most luscious and tasty appetizers worldwide. They are often preserved in Olive Oil in order to gain some extra taste and aromas.
Their exceptional taste will certainly give a delicate and unique flavor in every meal!
Acidity Level – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive fruit is one of the most beneficial natural crops because of its essential advantages for human health.
However, how can we evaluate the quality of the olive oil?
One of the most important factors that can help us recognize a “good” olive oil is the acidity level or free fatty acidity per 100 grams. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the most premium and qualitative type of olive oil. Amongst other types, its acidity level should be less than 0.8%, according to the international standards for olive oil.
“The lower the acidity level is, the more premium the olive oil will be”
Some of the key factors that affect the quality of the olive oil are:
Time between harvesting and extraction
Condition of the olive fruit (if the fruit has been bruised or damaged during harvesting the produced olive oil will be of low quality/high acidity)
Extraction and storing methods.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from healthy and not bruised olives, extracted by a cold press process under all the proper conditions, normally has pretty low acidity under 0.5%.
So keep that in mind in order to enjoy all the benefits that only Extra Virgin Olive Oil can offer in your health!
Amphora in Ancient Greece
Amphoreus or Amfiphoreus arose from the Greek compound word amphi (“on both sides”) and phoreus (“carrier”).
The amphoras were initially invented in Ancient Greece and were mainly used for the transportation and storage of various products such as wine, olive oil, olives, water, cereals and fish.
In their overwhelming majority, amphoras were ceramic. However, there were a small minority in metal, stone or glass.
Regarding size, in ancient Greece people were most commonly use medium size to half the height of a human amphoras, able to be carried by one or more people.
Another special and important feature of the ancient Greek Amphoras was the paintings or scenes depicted on the external part of the container. These scenes were usually inspired by the Greek nature, Gods of Olympus, culture or even battles.
Hundreds years later, KORVEL Ltd., appreciating the utility and uniqueness of these containers, gathered the most Premium Greek Olive Oil, Herbs & Spices creating a more contemporary Amphora bottle.
Tradition, Excellence & Taste sealed in one Amphora!
Greek Olive Fruit: The key element of the Mediterranean diet
The Greek olives and the products produced therefrom, represent a valuable source of nutrients in our daily diet, providing us health and longevity. Since ancient times our ancestors encountered the olive tree and its fruits as a symbol of beauty, power, prestige, wisdom and health.
In Greece the olive harvest continues by the traditional method, where our farmers gather by hand the fruits of the olive tree, thereby maintaining the original quality and value of nature. In the middle to the late of autumn season starts to mature the fruit of the olive tree. Then everything passes in the hands of farmers.
The end result?
A completely natural product! Monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, fiber and minerals all sealed in one olive fruit.
Why choose Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Have you ever wondered which are the factors that make Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) differentiate from olive oils of other origins?
According to scientific research, Greek EVOO contains more polyphenols than EVOO of other origins; polyphenols are antioxidants that fight against many diseases like high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity and certain types of cancer.
Moreover, most of the Greek EVOO is hand-picked in the traditional Greek way and not harvested by mechanical methods. As a result, the olive fruit is not damaged or bruised and the final product is of higher quality.
In addition, 80% of Greek Olive Oil production is Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the most premium and healthy variety of olive oil.
Last but not least, the particular climatic and weather conditions of Greece allow the olive fruit to grow in such a way so as not to change its quality, taste and shape.
Greeks cultivate olive trees hundreds of years now. The whole philosophy and experience of so many years have led to the production of a far superior quality and delicate Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The olive tree
The olive tree was a symbol of the goddess Athena.
A symbol of wisdom and excellence. The use of olive oil for therapeutic purposes has been known since 4000 BC.
Aristotle turned the cultivation of olives into a science.
Solon was the first one to establish laws for protecting the olive tree.
Homer likened olive oil to a golden liquid. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, describes it as the perfect treatment.
Over the years, more than 60 different uses of olive oil have been reported. For instance, on treatment of dermatologic diseases, muscle aches, ulcers and cholera, inflammation of the gums, insomnia, nausea, fever and stomach pain.
Also, to our ancestors, the olive tree was a symbol of the Olympic Games and peace.
Before training, athletes were rubbing themselves with olive oil.
Finally, Olympic champions were crowned with wild olive branch, which was the greatest honor.
Until today…the olive tree is a symbol of peace with beneficial properties.