In order for an oil to qualify as “extra virgin” the oil must also pass both an official chemical test in a laboratory and a sensory evaluation by a trained tasting panel recognized by the International Olive Council. The olive oil must be found to be free from defects while exhibiting some fruitiness.
Olive oil tasters describe the positive attributes are described in the following terms:
- Fruity: Having pleasant spicy fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Ripe fruit yields oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral. Green fruit yields oils that are grassy, herbaceous, bitter, and pungent. Fruitiness also varies by the variety of olive.
- Bitter: Creating a mostly pleasant acrid flavor sensation on the tongue.
- Pungent: Creating a peppery sensation in the mouth and throat
You can learn more extremely interesting facts about olive oils (and the history or olives and olive oils) and the processes involved in their production, by visiting the Pompeian Company website as well as the Olive Oil Times, where I found the information listed above.
About Mediterranean Diets
Olive oil has been a part of the original diets of the people living in the Mediterranean basin. This type of eating plan is recognized as one of the healthiest diets (and lifestyles) in the entire world. The Mediterranean Diet, is comprised of eating lots of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates and olive oil as their main fat source. This eating plan does include occasional consumption of red meat, but the most common source of protein comes from beans and fatty fish from the region, like sardines and anchovies. Pompeian olive oil is the first to be labeled under the USDA seal. I received bottle of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and measuring spoon, just for my oil, via Smiley 360, to use in trying out some recipes listed on the Pompeian website. Baby Girl and I intensely scoured the Pompeian website in search of recipes, until we agreed upon a choice. So, being the ding-dongs that we are, we went with good ole “spaghetti sauce”. Oh yes, we are an adventurous bunch’-) Okie dokie – down to the nitty gritty! We altered the recipe a little, taking into consideration, The Man’s taste buds. You can find the original recipe HERE. We added “bottled” spaghetti sauce to our list of ingredients, because said man doesn’t like chunks in his sauce. So, we gave him some of the bottled sauce and meatballs, while BG and LL used the ingredients in the recipe and added chopped carrots to the mix, along with the rest of the bottle sauce, that was left over from the man’s dinner.
After simmering for a couple of hours, voila’.
YUMMY – Spaghetti with meatballs, salad, bread sticks and sparkling lemonade.