Since we launched our GringoCool brand of Spanish extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), we have encouraged our friends and family to hold test tastes in their neighborhoods. We are very proud of the quality of EVOO that we sell, and we will gladly put ours in a test taste with any –mano a mano! – bring it on!
It can be quite fun to taste different extra virgin olive oils especially in a party setting. I am posting some of the photos of taste tests held over the past year and some. We have actively supported the taste tests with free bottles of our GringoCool, along with handcrafted and hand painted salsa/dipping bowls and also a serving dish. We usually provide the host with some information about our Spanish EVOO and the benefits of consuming olive oil which can be made available to the participants.
Preparing an EVOO Taste Test
To carry out a taste test, we recommend that the following things are on hand:
- At least four different olive oils (we recommend encouraging your friends to bring along their own bottle if they have one in the cupboard).
- A set of tasting bowls (color coded works really well to relate them to specific bottles of oil).
- One or two serving dishes.
- A loaf of fresh bread, along with several types of fresh vegetables cut into bite size morsels.
We have found that “blind taste tests” are fun. The procedure we recommend is:
- Gather the olive oils in the kitchen or away from the party so no one can see.
- Pour 4 tablespoons of each olive oil into a small tasting bowl (depends upon the size of the crowd).
- Register which olive oil is in each of the different dipping bowls.
- Set up the tasting bowls and the bite size dipping pieces in an easily accessible location where your guests are gathered.
- Encourage people to taste the different olive oils and comment. The participants should not be afraid to use the olive oil and not just take dainty little dips. Find out if there is a clear favorite or if one particular sample is the unpopular.
Once everyone has had a chance to taste the different olive oils and comment, bring out the different olive oils and associate them with the dipping bowl.
Then, encourage people to read the labels of the favorite and least popular to see if there is a difference in how the product is described, where it is sourced and if some are certified or not. See what you can learn from the label.
Another twist on this same idea is do an open taste test – not blind. With the open taste test the bottles are placed by each of the dipping bowls, and participants can examine and discuss the olive oils as they sample them.
Olive Oil is Just Olive Oil – What’s the Big Deal?
Having grown up in rural Montana, where I don’t remember seeing or hearing about olive oil until I was probably 20 years of age, I can understand when people don’t really see the big deal about an olive oil taste test. I have talked with many family and friends and olive oil for them is in the same category as sunflower oil, canola oil and corn oil. And I admit that it would have to be pretty strange to invite people to your house to taste test canola oil or corn oil.
But Extra Virgin Olive Oil is different for several reasons. First, extra virgin olive oil is a fruit juice. Second, there are many varieties of olives which offer different flavors. Third, production conditions and harvest times lead to different flavors also. Many are starting to find that EVOO is more similar to wine than to sunflower oil, or other cooking oils. There are important flavor and health differences between olive oils, especially between low quality and high quality EVOOs. And taste tests can be a fun way to get together over food and drink.
Taste Tests in Spain
In Spain, Italy or Greece, where olive oil is part of life, the taste testing is part of the daily routine. Restaurants for breakfast sometimes are chosen because of the quality and flavor of the olive oil. The EVOO is so important to an enjoyable breakfast, that patrons will return if the EVOO quality is good. Daily “taste tests” are ongoing and super important to cuisine experience.
I think it is exciting that extra virgin olive oil is finding a place in the US cuisine. And about time. EVOO not only adds a wonderful new taste profile to the tabletop, it is actually good for your health.
Taste Test in Pullman, WA
At this taste test, our GringoCool 100% organic, picual EVOO was among the favorites. Another favorite was a very high quality EVOO made from arbiquino olives. (Author’s note: usually an arbiquino EVOO offers a slightly smoother profile than our picual and hojiblanca varieties. This smoother taste profile is usually due to a lower content of oleic acid and polyphenols (both of which are good for you). The polyphenols are a fantastic natural antioxidant and also offer stronger sensory attributes of bitterness, pungency and scratchiness, which may not be enjoyable to all palates.)
Taste Test in Denver, CO
The taste test in Denver was a smashing success. Again, GringoCool 100% organic EVOO was among the favorites. The party was quite well organized and Stacy (the host), even sent along a recipe for Balsamic Chicken, which can be found on our recipe page at GringoCool.com. Thanks Stacy!
Taste Test in Washington, DC
For a good time, it is clear Washington, DC should be on your map. Stan graciously held a taste test for his friends and you can tell they were having a good time.
Stan went all out and prepared many Spanish tapas for his guests.
And a good time was had by all!
Stan sent along some of the comments from the taste testers. Thanks so much Stan!
This olive oil was so good. We got one pack of two from Stan already! Mucha suerte con todo el negocio y recuerdos de una pareja de Barcelona. Eva and Valentino
One of The best EVOO that I have tasted and believe me I have tasted many. Robust bursting with flavor and just the right accompaniment to sourdough bread. Pallavi Chandra
Exciting olive oil. Sexy flavor. Anonymous
“Compared to other EVOO in our blind taste test GRINGOCOOL was the winner and many guests agreed that the distinction could be described as bright, smooth, and no bitter aftertaste.” Stan
Taste Test in Big Fork, MT
A taste test was even held in Big Fork, Montana! Lovely Laura organized a taste test at her school for her colleagues. A very interesting setting, but to tell the truth, a party is a party and it is never too late to learn a little bit about extra virgin olive oil (as they say in school
Love the comments! Thanks so much Laura!
Taste Test in Springfield, VA
Cecilia held a very reserved, more intimate taste test for friends in Springfield, VA. Thanks so much Cecilia!
Taste Test in Annandale, VA
Danitria, a big fan of our Spanish extra virgin olive oils, held a taste test for her friends and colleagues in Annandale, VA. Danitria commented that a good time was had by all, and that our GringoCool EVOOs was among the favorites. Thanks so much Danitria!
Honestly, we couldn’t be happier that our Spanish extra virgin olive oils were put to the test. We understand that there are many top quality EVOOs in the market (and some not so good), but we welcome the opportunity to go “mano a mano” in your home with any contender. We believe in our product and the quality and value that we offer.
We want to again thank all of our family and friends that held taste tests. And we challenge everyone to do the same.
Bring on the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Taste Tests!!
Thanks so much for reading. We welcome questions and comments. – Steve