The team at EmptyChair decided to spice up our Friday evening with a bit of Spanish Olive Oil Tasting with the Spanish Olive Oil School. In a lovely space off Clapham High Street, the amazing duo that is Mar and Elena took us through a wonderful variety of olive oils from Spain.
We learnt about the various production techniques of the oils, where they come from in Spain, and the numerous health benefits of including extra virgin olive oil into our diets. Specifically, Andalucia is home to the largest olive grove in the world (over 300 million trees), and is responsible for the production of 60% of extra virgin olive oil in the world!
Mar then explained the proper technique that goes into tasting oils (as she’s a Certified Expert in EVOO), along with how to describe the positive and negative attributes of each oil. Be it punchy and peppery in character, or light and grassy – Mar equipped our group with the proper way of describing the body of each oil.
Much like in tasting wines, the variations in texture and tenets of each oil can vary hugely, so know-how on how to articulate the tastes is critical to success in this space. We learned that colour has no impact on the flavour and different years produce significantly different flavours.
We had a selection of 5 different oils each with their own distinct character. They ranged from peppery Cordobans to light and grassy Andalucian oils. These oils are usually put through ‘taste tests’ from a panel of 12 judges. Our final oil of the evening was considered by one such panel as the best extra virgin olive oil in the world!
We had an excellent evening learning a great deal about how to identify different tastes and textures of olive oils, and how the careful balance of these components produces each unique oil. If you want to learn more about what Mar and Elena do, hit the link to download EmptyChair today!