Olive Oil - Taste The Difference

Fresh, high-quality extra virgin olive oil is one of the world's healthiest foods. Olive oils crafted with care are packed with antioxidants and phenolic compounds that are proven to help reduce and prevent diseases.

I have been using olive oil for years and have definitely noticed the difference in flavor between a well-produced oil and a lower quality one. I found my favorite brand and stuck with it. Although I had heard about the nuances in tastes and flavor that different varietals have, I had never spent too much time exploring these differences – I knew what I like and what worked for me, and stuck to it.

The best olive oils are blow-your-mind delicious and they elevate the tastes of our foods in ways we never imagined. Hundreds of olive varieties offer countless pairing possibilities that chefs are only beginning to discover.

So what makes a good olive oil?

Let's start with three things every extra virgin olive oil needs to have.

1.     Fruitiness

Every good olive oil needs to have the aroma of fresh fruit. Olives are fruits, after all. The oil should smell fresh and fruity.

2.     Bitterness

Olives are mighty bitter straight off the tree. So any fresh, high-quality olive oil must be bitter, which we perceive on the tongue.

3.     Pungency

Pungency is that cough-inducing sting on the throat that's caused by the healthy phenolic compounds in fresh, high-quality olive oil.

About ten years ago, T.J. Robinson, known worldwide as the Olive Oil Hunter®, vowed to find a way to secure harvest-fresh olive oil all year long so that olive oil lovers like himself could taste some of the best oils from all over the world and avoid stale and flavorless olive oil in stores.

He created the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club which has become the easiest, most convenient way to secure what many consider the freshest, most flavorful olive oils available in North America, delivered straight to your kitchen four times a year from award-winning local farms around the world.

I was fortunate enough to try 3 of these fantastic treasures and we decided to try each one on its own to discern the different flavors. We then used each as a dipping oil for some sourdough bread, used as a dressing over a fresh tomato salad and for lightly roasting some asparagus and drizzled as a finishing oil over some fish and vegetables. All oils were from Italy.

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Although we are not connoisseurs on the fruity/bitter/pungent balance each oil provides, we did know what we enjoyed, and why – no need to be an expert to appreciate delicious olive oil!

1.     Salvatore Cutrera

This is really a fantastic olive oil, rich and full of flavor. This oil paired with good balsamic vinegar makes for incredible salad dressing, and is top notch as a dipping oil for the bread for crusty bread, a finishing oil on salads, and as a seasoning oil on the fish.

2.     Frantoio Hermes

Thanks to its light and fruity flavor flavors, this oil was mild and tasted great with the roasted vegetables. It tasted really fresh in the salad vinaigrette and was only slightly noticeable when used to finish the fish.

3.     Pruneti

This oil was very rich with a full-bodied feel on the palate. This was our favorite for oil for seasoning and drizzling on the fish and vegetables right before serving. It was also fantastic and earthy when used as a dipping oil and in the vinaigrette. Although it worked well on the roasted vegetables, we noticed more flavor in cold preparations.

What a treat to truly experience how each oil can change the seasoning on a plate of food and enhance different flavors in different ways. I am excited to further my experimentation and try more!

If you are a fellow olive oil lover, I can guarantee that once you taste the harvest-fresh artisanal olive oil the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club provides, you’ll never settle for ordinary store-bought olive oil again.

And to prove it, for just $1 you too can get a free bottle of T.J. Robinson’s finest artisanal olive oil (normally $39 retail) as a no-obligation introduction to the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club.

This is how you can discover the delicious taste and nuance of an individual olive oil. Olive oil doesn’t exaggerate, lie, or use high pressure. You just put some in your mouth or taste it on a favorite dish and discover a whole new level of olive oil flavor – like we did! Try a bottle yourself for just $1 and taste what a difference direct-from-the-harvest olive oil makes on your salads, veggies, meats, fish—all your favorite dishes. Get yours here

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Michal Ofer