Here in Australia, we’re used to tasting olive oil on the end of dunked bread or drizzled all over salad. But with its flavours and aromas as varied as those found in wine, expert producers from Italy say that, similar to vino, we need to follow a sampling process that taps into all senses in order to find the perfect olive oil.
Count Francesco Miari Fulcis is the owner of Laudemio production at Fattoria Di Maiano, an ancient olive oil estate in Tuscany dating back to the fifteenth century. Count Francesco opens his family home exclusively for guests of guided holiday company, Trafalgar, offering guests an inside glimpse into olive oil production as part of its unique Be My Guest dining experience collection.
Here are Count Francesco’s steps to tasting olive oil (like true Italian aristocracy):
1) Keep in a warm glass and cover with one hand on the top
2) Rotate in horizontal way so that the oil will move in a gentle way inside the glass
3) Take the hand away from the top of the glass and smell the extra virgin olive oil; good: green grass…bad: old, fermented fruit
4) Taste the extra virgin olive oil and at the same time breathe in some oxygen so the extra virgin olive oil will have an explosion of flavour; good: light, spicy in the mouth, leaves your mouth feeling clean after a few minutes… bad: fat, rancid, won’t leave the mouth clean.
Unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age so fresh really is best. To keep your olive oil in the best possible condition from the date of harvest, Count Francesco Miari Fulcis says, “After use, screw the lid of your olive oil back on tightly, and store back in the box it came in. Keep the box away from light, such as out in the open, or heat sources, such as near the stove.”
Guests on Trafalgar’s Great Italian Cities At Leisure guided holiday and Gladiators, Gondolas& Gold Family Experience will be welcomed into Count Francesco’s estate to dine with his family and learn all about olive oil production. This is just one of Trafalgar’s many exclusive Be My Guest dining experiences, which gives travellers the rare opportunity to dine with the locals in their home.
Trafalgar offer 100 of these Be My Guest dining experiences across its Europe and UK, South America, USA and Asia guided holidays.