Photo by Francesca Mueller
Some time back, olive oil enthusiasts Erin O'Brien and Joe Hennessy wrote me about an oil-tasting party they'd thrown with friends, during which they'd discovered that quality counts in oil just as much as in wine, coffee, cheese, and other premium foods – and had seen (and smelled) for themselves the difference between true extra virgins and the slop often sold under the same label in the USA.
Since then, Erin and I have drawn up some guidelines (attached below as a pdf for you to download) for holding an oil-tasting event. They include suggested food pairings, tasting tips, and other resources to educate yourself, family and friends about the range and culinary versatility of fine olive oil. Feel free to save to your computer, print it or pass the file around, and please help to improve these guidelines by leaving a comment below about your own olive oil party.
Whether you’re just learning about olive oil or are a true believer looking to spread the word, hosting an olive oil tasting dinner is a great way to experience the culinary and convivial pleasures of olive oil. Until you taste a real extra virgin, you won’t know what you’ve been missing, or how good food can taste when vitalized by great oil. But once you get it, there’s no turning back!