There is a very rich vocabulary that describes the flavors and aromas of olive oil. Olive oil has a dominant taste of freshly pressed olives. The olives that give us extra virgin olive oil, the super food.
Many times people say that olive oil has a fruity, or sweet, or peppery, or freshly cut grass, or almond, or apple taste.
Another important factor on determining the quality of olive oil and its freshness, is its smell. You can not keep olive oil forever. It spoils if it is kept for a long time and or it is not stored properly.
This super food has developed its own language.
The flavor of olive oil, depends on the ripeness of the olives at the time they were harvested. It also depends on the method of extraction, the environmental factors, the climate and the soil. Bitter olive oil comes from olives that are under ripe when they are extracted.
In regions where the winter is mild and allows the olives to be harvested as they ripe, the oil has a sweet and full bodied flavor.
Sweet and fruity olive oils should be paired with delicate dishes, like fish. Peppery oils should be paired with heavier dishes like meats and vegetables. My opinion vegetable dishes cooked or baked with tomato sauces in stronger oils, are great. Olive oil should be enhancing the flavor of the food and not overpowering it.
The color of olive oil has dark silvery green, dark green, light green, or dip golden yellow and depends on the chlorophyll, carotene and carotenoids, that the olive oil contains. If the chlorophyll is the dominant coloring, the color of the oil will be bright green. If the carotene and carotenoids are the dominant colorings of the oil’s contents the olive oil will be dip golden yellow.
In the Mediterranean region by the end of the fall, the new olive oil makes its appearance. I will never forget those days, when we were trying the new “liquid gold.” The memories I have of eating fresh peasant bread, toasted and dipped in the fresh, warm, extra virgin olive oil with my friends, are priceless.