Tasting GuideRecognize a good olive oilTasting ritualUsing oil in the kitchenHow to preserve Extra Virgin olive oil
The fruit of the olive treeThe oil dictionaryThe classification of oilsWellness in EVOOProduction areasOlive varieties
The first rule to follow to keep your oil in optimal state is that light, heat and air are its enemies. Bottles should thus be kept in the dark, away from heat and carefully sealed.
In these conditions both glass and hard wearing recyclable PET are ideal as well as cans.
Color is not a sign of quality or inappropriate storage in itself. Different shades of green, ranging from the brightest to the most opaque, and more or less intense yellowish highlights reflect different olive varieties, the extraction process used, the ripeness of the olives and the area the olives were grown in.
The only color that indicates bad oil conservation and thus deterioration is reddish highlights because these are caused by chlorophyll breaking and the presence of beta carotene.
All our passion and expertise goes into the search for a blend with Monini oils inimitable flavor. We pay careful attention to maintaining the flavor and quality characteristics of our extra-virgin olive oils constant through time. It is Zefferino Monini himself who manages and supervises this production phase designed to finding the right balance between the aromas of a blend, which vary from one olive tree to another, from the climate of a specific harvest, and the conditions in which the olives and the oils were stored.
Regardless, minor differences in flavor are possible because oil is a natural product.
If a single production lot contains two bottles with markedly different flavors, on the other hand, it is due to differences in storage conditions.
Extra virgin olive oil key role in the Mediterranean diet and its popularity are both contributing to a growing demand as compared to other condiments.
It is important to underline that every single bottle of Monini olive oil contains the same top quality product and unmistakable flavor ensured by three generation expertise.
However, outside the sales context, consumers are best advised to select a slightly more expensive extra virgin olive oil as a guarantee of higher quality, better flavor and higher health and safety standards.
Working to the same high quality standards year by year is an ongoing challenge.
It begins with analyses of samples, and continues with tests on the oils before and after bottling.
Many of these tests are done personally by Zefferino Monini together with the Quality Control Team including professional tasters, chemists and quality standard staff.
Monini attention to quality is also validated by many independent European tests (chemical analyses and tasting) done over the years by prestigious consumer magazines and TV reports including, in Italy “Altroconsumo”, in Switzerland “Kassensturz” and in France “Que Choisir”. Monini products have always ranked among the best in these independent tests and have often been nominated ‘the best in the test.’
Tasting is a way of distinguishing extra virgin olive oil aromas and flavors. Experts use it to judge oil quality but anyone can learn this skill to find the favorite oil.
Just like wine tasting, oil tasting is an experience which involves our smell, taste and sight.
This is how to do it:
To begin with, pour a little oil into a glass and hold it close to release its aromas. Raise the glass to your nose and sniff it, first rapidly and then slowly. This will bring out aromas of apple, leaves, tomatoes, almonds, artichokes and cut grass.
Take a little sip of oil but don’t swallow it. Keep it between your lower lip and your teeth, letting it wash over your taste buds. Breathe through your mouth, taking deeper and deeper breaths to get a feel for its density and, lastly, breathe out so that the atomized oil releases further aromas and flavors.
As everyone’s taste is different, oils will be perceived slightly differently by each one of us but this technique will give you a feel for some of an oil’s positives and negatives.
The main virtues of extra virgin olive oil are hints of bitterness and sharpness, fruitiness, floral and herb aromas and notes of almond, wood and tomato.
Sour or vinegary flavors are definitely defects as are moldy or earthy smells and rancid or musty odors.
The right degree of ripening is different for every olive variety and this ensures that the resulting oil has the best fragrance and flavor.
A single olive variety can also produce extra virgin olive oils with very different aromas and flavors depending on how ripe it was when it was harvested.
Less ripe olives, full of vitamins and anti-oxidants, give smaller quantities of high quality oil rich in flavor with a hint of bitterness. Riper olives, on the other hand, give less intensely green, more yellowish oils and a more delicate flavor.
Monini does not use over-ripe olives or those which have already fallen off the tree. Our extra virgin oil product range includes oils made from olives picked slightly in advance, such as our GranFruttato, and olives milled when totally ripe, like our Originale.
Naturally, maintaining the quality of our olive oils constant over time begins with raw material selection. The high standards we adhere to require us to use only oils pressed within 24 hours of harvesting.
This means that our suppliers agree to pick the olives, press them in situ within 24 hours and bring us oil which is already selected and certified.
The olive mills we work with are accredited only after being inspected by our specialist staff in Italy and abroad. These checks ensure that they respect health and safety laws, guarantee product traceability and carry out their own health and safety and quality checks including pesticide and water quality analyses.
And on top of this, every year we perform around 30,000 analytical tests. When any of these oils are delivered to us we perform further pesticide and environmental contaminant checks in addition to many other tests designed to assess quality and genuineness.
European Union regulation no. 396 dating to 2005 strictly limited the use of pesticides, weedkillers and fungicides in foodstuffs, safeguarding consumers. Under European Community law no plant protection product can be banned in Italy and permitted in other European countries because all products are subject to the same laws and the same limitations.
To protect our consumers even further, Monini also checks that products sent around the world respect restrictions in the countries they’re sent to as well.