There is a very large number of producers around the world claiming their product is premium, of superior taste and packaging. And the extra virgin olive oil is not an exception.
As product the extra virgin olive oil has a superior taste, and from countries such as Greece could be characterised as a superb one. Acidity of no more than 0.8% is not anymore the only criterion for the characterisation of an extra virgin olive oil as premium.
Therefore, one might wonder what elements or technical features are making an extra virgin olive oil a finest product then? It is the features coming from the product flavour profile.
There are 3 major characteristics:
The flavour profile is the main structure and the robust foundation for having a superior or premium extra virgin olive oil. While the chemical analysis remains as one the pillars, the tasting of the product by an accredited panel will put the final signature. Excellent and premium packaging completes the picture of the finest product following always the tasting and the analysis.
Whoever is your supplier, ask them to do a taste panel with you explaining some features to understand the extra virgin olive oil (evoo) flavour profile. All these three characteristics should be balanced well, and remember slight bitterness is not a defect on the contrary it indicates high content of antioxidants which is a benefit.
There are several competitions of olive oil products around the world, and the awards can not be given so easily to extra virgin olive oils that they do not meet the strict criteria. Such competitions can be used an indication or supporting hand to select the finest of all.
In these competitions, world experts/taste panellists ''tear apart'' the profile of an extra virgin olive oil and identify which one deserves a gold award.
Extra virgin olive oil has 16 sensory classes and 72 flavour descriptions
If you would like to familiarise yourself with extra virgin olive flavours, it is wise to start a tasting session by yourself simply by smelling and tasting the several products and write down the intensiveness of each product characteristic.