What the experts say

One of the olive oils which I have the pleasure to serve in my restaurant is Tamia: very good, balanced and excellent quality.”

One of the olive oils which I have the pleasure to serve in my restaurant is Tamia: very good, balanced and excellent quality

Tano Simonato - Chef Tano Passami l’Olio, Milan, 1 star Michelin

As always, the business card of our restaurant is the careful selection of the raw materials, preferring where possible those of the territory. This is why we chose at Il Vecchio Arco the organic extra virgin olive oils Tamia, they come from our region and with this high quality they enhance every my dish.

Fundim Gjepali - Chef Antico Arco, Rome, Masterchef Albania judge


The sensory analysis

A sensory analysis and the respective official assessment of an Extra Virgin Olive Oil takes place by means of a “panel-test”, within which a commission of professional tasters tastes an oil and then expresses its opinion according to the procedure established by the International Olive Oil Council (I.O.C.). By following a few simple rules, anyone is capable of recognizing a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. This is how.
Before you start, it is important to remember that color is not an indication of the quality of an extra-virgin olive oil. Color depends on the type of cultivar from which it was made, on the degree of maturation of the olives and on the system of transformation used, and can range anywhere from an intense green to yellow.

1. Procure a small glass and a green apple that you will use to clean your mouth with and cancel the sensations perceived after each tasting.
2. Pour a spoonful of oil into the glass, cover it with one hand and warm it with the palm of the other, rubbing it for a few minutes in order to release the volatile aromatic components that are enhanced by heat.
3. Bring the glass to your nose and inhale slowly and deeply; repeat several times, allowing some time to elapse between one inhalation and the next. This will enable you to identify the nuances in the aromas released by the oil.
4. Take a small sip of oil into your mouth without swallowing it and spread it over your tongue and palate. Warm the oral cavity, simulating a chewing movement; close your teeth and breathe in air strongly and firmly with your lips half-closed. Breathe in several times. The evaporation of the volatile components of the oil is thus encouraged, bringing the aromas into direct contact with your taste buds.
5. Memorize the sensations and spit out the oil.

Perceived sensations

From the sensations perceived while tasting, you will be able to distinguish the desirable and undesirable traits that are most often found in an extra-virgin olive oil:

  1. 1
    Fruity (desirable)

    An aroma that recalls the scent and taste of a healthy fruit, one that is fresh and picked at the right stage of maturation. A fruity taste can range from delicate when it is very subtle, to intense when it is very pronounced. Only the best oils manage to maintain this virtue even after a number of months.

  2. 2
    Bitter and Pungent (desirable)

    The characteristic and pleasingly bitter-pungent aftertaste is an indication of the high content of polyphenols (antioxidants) in the oil, a healthy trait of oil generally made from olives that have just turned color. As time passes, it tends to diminish.

  3. 3
    Sweet (desirable)

    a delicate taste, slightly aromatic; it should not be understood as honeyed or sugary, but as the absence of bitter and pungent notes.

  4. 4
    Musty (undesirable)

    An unpleasant hint caused by the incorrect preservation of the olives, that were stored in humid and badly-ventilated places or in large containers or sacks that subjected them to heating phenomena (lactic fermentation).

  5. 5
    Rancid (undesirable)

    A disgusting hint of a product in a state of decay caused by the incorrect storage of the oil, in contact with air and exposed to light and heat, which accelerate oxidation.

  6. 6
    Sludgy (undesirable)

    An unpleasant smell found in oil that remained in contact with the bottom (fragments of olives that sediment on the bottom of the containers). This defect occurs when the oil was not properly filtered or poured.

  7. 7
    Winey-vinegar (failure)

    A characteristic hint that reminds one of wine or of vinegar and that comes from the fermentation of the sugars present in olives (not fresh) and in the vegetation water found in the oil (incorrect processing).