What is the best way to taste olive oil?

Tasting olive oil is not very different from tasting
wine. You pour an ounce or so of oil into a small glass, the size of a votive
candle container. After warming the glass in your cupped hand for a few moments,
you “slurp” (this is where the similarities with wine end!) a small amount of
oil, starting at the front of your mouth and moving it slowly toward the back
by performing a sort of inhalation (beware, it may be noisy!).

As the oil moves through the mouth and palate,
different taste elements come to life: fruity at the front of the mouth,
peppery-spicy in the middle, and bitterness toward the throat. Yes, bitterness.
It is an important attribute, as it is indicative of the presence of all the
vital and health-giving polyphenols and antioxidants (generally referred to as
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds). If you do not taste much bitterness at
the back of the throat, the olive oil is possibly old and has lost most of those
beautiful attributes, or it is a lesser oil and never had them. But, remember, tasting
the olive oil and cooking with it are different activities—tasting the
bitterness does not mean the food will be bitter. When BFF extra virgin olive
oil is used in food, the bitterness will be muted but the healthy stuff will be there!

How should I use BFF olive oil?

For thousands of years, the peoples of the
Mediterranean have employed olive oil for everything from lamp oil, chariot-wheel
lube, skin care, and many other uses not related to food. These ancient olive
oils would be considered rugged and rustic by today’s standards. Please do not
use BFF oil to lube your skateboard wheels! Our Extra Virgin BFF olive oils give
their best at the dinner table. Here are tips for getting the most out of them.

The very special flavor and the health benefits of our
olive oil are due to the myriad VOCs it contains. When heated, the VOCs cook
off quickly, so it is important to use olive oil at lower temperature ranges.
If a recipe calls for adding olive oil to a pan until hot—to brown meats before
braising, for example—go ahead but keep the heat at the lowest range that will
sear the meat. Or, perhaps the recipe is calling for garlic, sage, and rosemary
to be heated in oil until fragrant, a rather common combination in
Mediterranean cooking. Heat the empty pan first, using low-to-medium heat, and add
the oil and the other ingredients only afterward. If your oil smokes in the
pan, it is too hot. Also, you may want to leave a portion of the oil uncooked
and add it at the end of the preparation.

Use your oil in dressings, dips, sauces, or drizzle it on meats, fish, breads,
beans, vegetables . . . the list is endless.

Then there are olive oil-based desserts: pies, cakes, ice cream. Part or all
the butter called for in many recipes may be substituted with olive oil. The taste
is great, and your arteries will thank you in the long run!

How should I store my BFF olive oil?

Excessive light and heat as well as oxidation and aging are the enemies
of olive oil, much as they are for many living things (including us Homo
sapiens). Those of us who love food and healthy eating will address the aging
issue by using a lot of olive oil, ensuring it never gets too old! We also store
our BFF oil in a dark place – a pantry or a cabinet – where the temperature does
not fluctuate much, and we keep the bottle capped when not in use to limit
oxidation. A location alongside the stove may be handy, but it may also be too
hot and too exposed to light. Don’t save your olive oil for “special occasions" — use it on a daily basis instead. All your meals should be “special” – your body
deserves the best and healthiest food, and BFF oil is here to help with that.