The fragrance of brand-new olive oil is unmistakable. Italy has a great olive oil tradition with its regional olive oil products, centennial olive trees and wonderful landscapes full of olives growing.
When the oil is fresh from the press, it’s as intense as its all-pervasive aroma: the best moment to experience its scent is directly at the olive mill (called the “frantoio” in Italian). That is the moment when the harvest olives are crushed into oil. If you can’t be there to witness the olive pressing, then you can always just buy a bottle of fresh olive oil from Italy.
How can the fragrance be described?
Olive oil has a green-fruity scent and smells like freshly cut grass. It has a complex aroma and all that complexity makes up a large part of the oil’s flavor. If the aroma of the extra-virgin olive oil in your pantry doesn’t reflect that complexity, then the flavor won’t either. If that’s the case, then it’s a good time to think about reinvesting in a different bottle.
Extra-virgin olive oil is a unique product because, unlike regular olive oil (sometimes called “pure olive oil”), it’s unrefined and retains all those polyphenols that are available in the raw fruit. In fact, olive oil is considered “Extra Virgin” when it respects specific standards (such as organoleptic characteristics and acidity levels). It should have no defects and it should be made simply by crushing olives and extracting the juice.
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil type and it tastes like fresh olives. A virgin olive oil (without the word “Extra”) has a slightly higher acidic level (not more than 2%) with a slight perception of defect, but both of them (extra virgin and virgin) must be produced with a mechanical system and must not be chemically treated.
If you want know more about olive oil and how to recognize the good one, read this article.