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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting

17 January 2010 6,666 views 15 Comments

Adam and I attended the most wonderful extra virgin olive oil tasting at Central Market Cooking School last week.

We walked in and were greeted by the very kind staff and a gorgeous winter produce filled table with grapefruit, orange, and ruby red oranges.

It’s Citrus Fest at Central Market right now and I can’t wait to buy blood oranges, a 5 lb. box of clementines for $6, Texas grapefruit for $.99 a lb., berto’s grabefruit sorbet for $3 and Aliseo Blood Orange Juice from Italy for $4.50.

centerpiece

Below is Daniele Salvagno, owner of an antique olive mill in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Salvagno has created a line of olive oils specifically for Central Market called Integrale “i” Extra Virgin Olive Oils.

Redoro is a family-run business that has produced extra virgin olive oil since 1895. The ripe olives are harvested in November and December and are picked by hand or using combs and delivered to the mill for cold pressing on stone grinders the same day.

The milling process creates 45% water, 13% pure oil, and 42% olive waste (stone, skin, and vegetable matter). The waste is taken out and the water and oil naturally separate to produce the pure oil.

olive orchard owner

The olive oils we tasted included Leccino (the yellow i), Nostrano (the white i), Frantoio (the red i), and Perlarol (the green i). Believe it or not, they all smelled and tasted a bit differently and they weren’t infused with anything other than pure olives. The Leccino was light and fruity, Nostrano was almondy at the beginning and a bit spicy at the end, Frantoio was spicy and full-bodied, and Perlarol was the most nutty and full-bodied.

tasting

Fellow local food blogger Natanya of Fete and Feast and I cup the olive oil in our hands – warming it for about a minute before smelling and tasting it.

We learned that Redoro is the first and only business in extra virgin olive oil to obtain the Denomination of Protected Origin (DPO). According to Daniele, one reason for this is the values of the family business — it is important to them that the quality and genuine love they have for their olives comes through in every part of the process.

olive oil warming

We tasted the olive oils on their own at first and then as part of a tasting menu that included this Sicilian Orange, Red Onion, and Fennel Salad made with the Leccino oil.

citrus salad

We learned so many interesting things about olive oil. Did you know:

  • Light and heat makes olive oil go bad quickly. Don’t store it on the counter next to the stove.
  • Olive oil has a 1 1/2 – 2 year shelf life from bottling and 3-6 months once opened.
  • Buy olive oil sold in darker bottles over those in clear bottles to ensure a longer shelf life.
  • You can store olive oil in the fridge since it’s cool and dark. However, it coagulates and will need time to warm to room temperature before you can use it.

Integrale “i” Extra Virgin Olive Oils are a really good price too — they are $8.99 each at Central Market and 500 ml.

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  • linda

    thanks jodi…this is a very interesting & informative post… the “tips” for evoo storage are great!

  • linda

    thanks jodi…this is a very interesting & informative post… the “tips” for evoo storage are great!

  • http://feteandfeast.com/ Natanya

    What a lovely recap of the event. It was great to share it with you. I made a crostini with blood oranges and the olive oil – so tasty!

  • http://feteandfeast.com/ Natanya

    What a lovely recap of the event. It was great to share it with you. I made a crostini with blood oranges and the olive oil – so tasty!

  • jodibart

    @linda: Glad you enjoyed. Adam and I were among the guilty who stored our olive oil next to the stove. It has now been moved across the room to the other kitchen counter.
    @Natanya: Agreed! I look forward to many more wonderful meals in the future!

  • jodibart

    @linda: Glad you enjoyed. Adam and I were among the guilty who stored our olive oil next to the stove. It has now been moved across the room to the other kitchen counter.
    @Natanya: Agreed! I look forward to many more wonderful meals in the future!

  • Chef Vance

    @Jodi, Adam and Natanya: was so cool to have you all in my kitchen. I know Christina and I are both looking for ways to do this again very soon

  • Paula Holzband

    Interesting blog on extra virgin olive oil and the tips were good. We've got our bottles of extra virgin olive oil in the pantry…….that should be ok.

  • jodibart

    Lenny knows his stuff. I'm not surprised he already knew where to store it!

  • Paula Holzband

    Interesting blog on extra virgin olive oil and the tips were good. We've got our bottles of extra virgin olive oil in the pantry…….that should be ok.

  • jodibart

    Lenny knows his stuff. I'm not surprised he already knew where to store it!

  • Paula Holzband

    Interesting blog on extra virgin olive oil and the tips were good. We've got our bottles of extra virgin olive oil in the pantry…….that should be ok.

  • jodibart

    Lenny knows his stuff. I'm not surprised he already knew where to store it!

  • Paula Holzband

    Interesting blog on extra virgin olive oil and the tips were good. We've got our bottles of extra virgin olive oil in the pantry…….that should be ok.

  • jodibart

    Lenny knows his stuff. I'm not surprised he already knew where to store it!