WELCOME TO ONAOO the world’s oldest olive oil tasting school

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Oil: The most ancient condiment in the human history
We don t have to be afraid of the growing production of virgin olive oil all around the world, we have to be afraid instead of the growing of bad quality oil produced who knows where and labeled as
olio di oliva vergine.screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-20-19-15
Let ‘ start with a tip. Look at the production date: The younger the better. Extra virgin olive oil does not age well. Check the date on the bottle and make sure you are getting oil produced during the last harvest.  The shelf life of an extra-virgin olive oil is on average about 2 years, i Its life can reach up to 18 months, if it is  stored properly. Oil needs a lot of attention: from the variety and quality of the olives, to the cultivation and harvesting processes, to the grinding and extracting methods. screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-20-37-01The blue IGP or PGI seal (Indicazione Geografica Protetta, or Protected Geographical Indication) is also a nice designation, but only guarantees that the extra-virgin oil is at least partially prepared, processed or produced within a specific region.Focus on taste.

Concentrate in the acidity levels rather than colour and remember that an oil to be graded as extra-virgin, it must have zero defects in taste and smell and more than zero in the fruity attribute. The extra-virgin can be reminiscent of almond, grass, pear, artichoke, tomato leaves… and many others flavors!screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-20-43-50I was enchanted of my researches so I joined ONAO , (The National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters), the most prestigious school of oil tasting in Imperia, Ligury, and located  in the historic Sasso Building, the former headquarters of one of Italy’s historic olive oil companies.right in the center of Imperia, one of the most important centres of olive oil in Italy. screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-20-20-59ONAOO,has gained the reputation to be the world’s first and leading school of the art of olive oil tasting, providing training, carrying out scientific researches, acting as an engine for a continuous process of education, and improving and the cultural integration of olive oil worldwide. At ONAOO tasters are continuously trained to experience, to make  comparisons,  and to give scores to mark it as an authentic virgin olive oil.img_1800-copyTHE TASTING
The ritual stars with warming up a small oil sample of the product to be quantified , to make more difficult  the taster are provided with several little glasses each of them with a different oil m often coming from different parts of the world, the ritual begin , the glasses are warmed up with the hands . the gently  sealed and warmed up with the hands , a warmer  temperature will enhance the oil fragrance and taste, img_1791

Sniff, it, drink  it and noisy leave air penetrate in the mouth in order to oxidase the fluid and spread it all over the mouth. feel the structure.

Taste bitter? Does it burn?
That is an effect caused from the polyphenols, and is NOT a bad thing..as  Mario Amelio, scientific oil consultant says ‘the bitter, the better’.img_1804Then the testers will fill up a profile sheet, noting the intensity of perception of defects that spans from muddy sediment, to vinegar acidity, to rancid flavor, to a taste of frostbitten olives.
Only one of them and …that ‘s a bad oil! img_1775-copyFollowing the experts will indulge in the consideration of the intensity of perception of positive attributes. A ‘real ‘olive oil should score the right notes of fruity, bitter, and pungent levels. Oils are anonymous, no body knows the factory or the farm or the producer’s name. During my time at Onaoo, they have been served oils from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and many Mediterranean countries. img_1816-copyThe experts of ONAOO staff, together with the community of ONAOO tasters and former students located throughout the world, help to foster social, cultural and economic growth in the olive oil market, as well as improvements in processing technologies. In this way the objective classification of oil as a product will improve, increasing and enhancing its commercial uses.img_1812-copy

First and second level classes are held  in the Imperia headquarters among convenient online courses where ONAOO sends oil samples to the participant, to be tasted during an online session led by expert tasters via Skype. at the end of course, ONAOO will issue a certificate of attendance. ONAOO strives to maintain a totally open outlook on all areas of production worldwide, both around and beyond the Mediterranean, and to appreciate the organoleptic characteristics of great oils worldwide. because screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-20-19-27 Every year Imperia host OLIOLIVA a spectacular event  dedicated to oils, oil products, food and wines, while street vendors will show and sell the best of their products. screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-20-19-48This year this oli kermesse is happening on
November 11th, 12th, 13.th.
Let me tell you: the city will be an
oil bonanza!screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-20-19-43

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