Olives From The Grove To The Press To The Bottle To The Palate - Part 3
STORAGE AND LONGEVITY
~ Nine months after the olive oil is bottled is the window of freshness. The olive oil will still be fine after that, but there will be a noticeable oxidative taste.
~The date on an olive oil bottle is the date of its’ bottling, not the year the olives were grown. So the storage methods for the oils before bottling can have a direct effect on the life span of the olive oil.
~Once opened a bottle should remain fresh for thirty to sixty days.
~Olive oils should be stored like wine, in a cool dark environment.
~In America, for the first time in history, olive oils are being tested for the oleic oil content present in the finished oil. If it exceeds .08% oleic acid, it can no longer be sold as Extra Virgin.
~Cold pressing refers to keeping the temperature below 80° during processing, which ensures the greatest capture of nutrients and flavor.
~Heat can be used to extract a greater amount of olive oil per ton of olives, but there is a quality diminishment and a lack of freshness in the flavor.
~Color of the finished olive oil is not a giant factor in quality, so colored glasses are often used to taste and smell, minimizing the oxidative effect of sunlight.
~Warm the oil slightly by cupping the glass in your hand and rolling the oil around.
~Take in the aroma after swirling, by putting your nose at the edge of the glass, rather than in the middle as with wine.
~Sip a small amount.
~Roll it over your tongue.
~Aerate the oil by sucking air through your teeth while the oil is still in your mouth.
~Swallow the oil, yes I said swallow it.
~Some people will cough after swallowing the oil, this is actually considered a complement to olive oil producers, as it shows intensity.
~Use crisp apple slices to cleanse the palate between tastes.
~Italian olive varieties are often harvested earlier and greener for a more peppery and spicy palate.
~Spanish olives are often harvested later in the season and much riper for a more rich and buttery texture and flavor.
(Go Back To History, Quality, Cultivation)
Written By: Khristopher Lund
Khristopher is a freelance writer and Sommelier living in the Napa Valley. Check out his blog.