This post is part two of my three-chapter series of the International Food Blogger Conference. Read my first post on the pre-conference excitement by clicking on the link.
Seattle, you honestly blew me away with you amazing Storyville espresso and your $5 colorful flower bouquets; with your daily lunch specials and your hotel gin & tonics; with your rosy gold sunsets and your fish throwing ways. Even more so, you blew me away with the people I met! Food blogging friendships that were years in the making, food photographers I’ve admired from afar for ages, and food companies I’ve emailed more than anyone in the past two years. That company my friends is California Olive Ranch, who presented a seminar on Artisan Olive Oil Tasting during the conference. Not only did I meet two of my favorite people to work with (Kirsten and Sarah!) but oh my, I met and fell in love with Bob, the head olive miller at the ranch.
Bob Singletary is the man that tastes every single olive oil that is bottled by California Olive Ranch. Heck, he consumes so much of it he says it’s in his blood, which I believe! He’s 63 but with the spirit of a 20 year-old and shared his love for olive oil during the tasting at IFBC. Calmly, he guided the audience through a visual, aromatic, and tasty adventure of trying olive oils. We learned the steps on how to taste olive oil, pretty similar to wine tastings. Here’s what you do.
Tasting Olive Oil
Swirl: when swirling olive oil, unlike wine, you’re not analyzing the thickness of the “legs” or texture of the oil, you’re actually just trying to release the aroma to begin your tasting. See what California Olive Ranch recommends tasting in, as well as more tasting ideas!
Smell: take a deep breath as you quickly un-cup the swirled glass of oil. What do you smell? Here are some terms to help you share the aromas you’re experiencing: fruity, nutty, herbaceous, fresh/green, fragrant, and spicy. What happens when you’re tasting oil that’s NOT the best quality? You’ll smell notes of must, mud, and rancidity. After smelling it’s time to…
Slurp: believe it or not, you will have to slurp your olive oil to get the full tasting notes. Pull the oil through your front teeth and aerate it by slightly havign your mouth open. Coat your tongue with it and then…
Swallow: gently swallow, take a deep breath, and enjoy the tasting!
Fun Fact: Many people are surprised that color identification is not part of the tasting process. It is a myth that color influences oil quality; in fact, professional tasters use colored glasses to avoid a ‘color bias’.
October Taste Guarantee Program & Giveaway
The October Taste Guarantee program, beginning today, October 1st, is all about taking the time to spread the word about the importance of using quality ingredients when preparing family meals–it’s important to give our loved ones the very best when it comes to everyday items. All month long California Olive Ranch will be sharing a $2 off coupon, and encouraging people to take their Taste Guarantee Challenge – If you don’t like their olive oil, they’ll buy it! And in the meantime, we’re giving away TWO sets of their Kitchen Essentials 3-Bottle Gift Box for two winners! Please let the Rafflecopter widget below load and enter today.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by California Olive Ranch, but honestly – even if they didn’t pay me I’d still praise them from their great quality product, awesome social media, and great company values!