Not All EVOOs are Created Equal
With so many factors going into producing great extra virgin olive oils, it's only safe to say that there is a wide-range of characteristics that spread great EVOOs from the rest. Let's look into some of them.
Fruitiness is a key element and a must have!
A clear must-have for an EVOOs is fruitiness, it's a top-of-the-list characteristic. Olives are fruits and great olive oils will always smell fresh and fruity. It will unlock many flavors unique to its type, climate and surroundings. A great EVOO will feature hints of fresh grass, almonds, tomatoes, radish and more.
Another Must-Have is "Bitterness"
Imagine walking up to an olive tree during harvest to pick an olive to consume right away. That olive will smell very fresh but will be unmistakably bitter in flavor that you might just drop it on the soil. That very bitterness must also be found in a great extra virgin olive oil, as the production process should not cover the natural traits of the fruit but only enhance them.
Pungency a.k.a. Peppery Zing at the End
Another must-have of great olive oil is something of a love-it or hate-it situation. No matter how you feel towards that tingling sensation at the back of your throat after consuming a great EVOO, it's always a good sign and an indicator of high phenolic count of an EVOO. Polyphenols are antioxidants that are naturally found in olives with many known benefits to the human body.
Next Up: What Makes an Award-Winning EVOO?
Now that we covered the must-haves of great EVOOs it's time to dive into what makes award-winning olive oils such as Zeytin.
Zeytin Wins Silver Medal in New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) 2020
The NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, held each spring in New York, is the world's largest and most prestigious olive oil contest and its annual listing of award winners is considered the authoritative guide to the year’s best extra virgin olive oils.
How Complex is an EVOO's Flavor Profile?
We talked about various flavors found in great extra virgin olive oils but to be award-winning we must look at the complexity of these flavors. How many layers is there of fruitiness or nuttiness, how many distinct flavors are captured in the smell and taste of an EVOO and finally what does this EVOO remind us, where does it take us on a culinary journey?
How do Flavors Play Together? Complex is an EVOO's Flavor Profile?
Just like a great orchestra, an EVOOs flavors get better as they work in harmony. Fresh almond flavor is elevated by the green grass sensation and a hint of radish add to the mixture to create a unique but unmistakable flavor profile. Harmony is exaclty this. With an award-winning olive oil the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Do the Sensations Linger to be Enjoyed for a Longer Time?
All the distinct qualities in an EVOO should stay in the palate long enough to the fully savored and admired. This allows us to enjoy awarded EVOOs thoroughly while also giving us the opportunity to identify the unique chracteristics of each bottle.