Olive oil is everywhere, and like wine, there are many aspects to explore and enjoy: taste, olive varieties, geographic origin, and ways to use, of course.
What’s the most fun you can have with a bottle of wine? Sharing it with friends.
And it’s the same for olive oils. So host an olive oil tasting for your next get-together.
Whole Foods Market™ has five new single-origin, extra virgin olive oils that represent the uniqueness of the regions and countries where they’re produced: Greece, Portugal, Seville, Sicily and Chile.
Whole Foods Market™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Greece
Flavor: Distinctively fruity with a peppery finish
Uses: Best enjoyed raw, drizzled over finished cooked dishes
Whole Foods Market™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Portugal
Flavor: Fruity, smooth and balanced with notes of fresh almonds
Uses: Drizzle onto cold salads and pasta dishes; blend into vinaigrettes
Whole Foods Market™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Seville
Flavor: Slightly sweet with a smooth finish and subtle almond note
Uses: Cooking, particularly pan sautéing and baking
Whole Foods Market™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Sicily
Flavor: Rich, robust and fruity with grassy notes
Uses: Drizzle over grilled foods or bruschetta
Whole Foods Market™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Chile
Flavor: Rich and spicy, with notes of green tomatoes and fresh vegetables
Uses: Serve as an appetizer with fresh bread or crostini for dipping
These olive oils have such a diverse range of flavors, from mellow to piquant, that they’re the perfect assortment to compare at a tasting party.
Here’s how to host an olive oil tasting party.
Each place setting gets 5 small glasses or wine glasses filled with about two tablespoons of each olive oil you’re tasting, along with a glass of water. Have paper and a pen at each place setting for note taking, too.
Order the oil-filled glasses from mild to full-flavored: Greece, Portugal, Seville, Sicily and end with Chile. If you want, you can label each glass “1, 2, 3…” with a note in front of each sample.
In the center of the table, keep the five olive oil bottles marked by number so guests can read the information on the labels as they taste. Also have a platter of sliced baguette and green apple for your guests to eat in between tastings to clear their palates.
Instruct guests to swirl, sniff, slurp and swallow. Like this:
Hold the glass in one hand, cover with the other and swirl. The warmth of your hands along with the swirling action will release the aromas.
Uncover the glass and inhale deeply. Encourage guests to write down three words to describe the aroma.
Slurp the oil (sip while inhaling air) and write down your impressions. Is the flavor spicy, fruity or bitter? How does it feel in your mouth? Heavy, oily or smooth?
Now swallow. What are the final tastes after swallowing? Is it peppery in your throat? What tastes are left in your mouth?
Have guests sip water, eat a slice of apple or bread and repeat with the next olive oil.
You can have everyone compare notes after tasting each olive oil or when you’ve completed the entire tasting. In addition, you can dip the bread in the oils and note the differences in flavor. Discuss what you would like to sauté, bake or drizzle with the various oils.
Share your notes in the comments below after your olive oil tasting party. We would love to see what you thought about these new single-origin extra virgin olive oils!