For years I’ve known the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil. It’s been a staple in my diet and I often laugh that it is perhaps more of a beverage at the rate I go through it. About a year ago I had a mind-blowing experience. I was visiting Halifax and happened to come across a very quaint extra virgin olive oil and balsamic tasting bar called Liquid Gold. Just as you would do a wine tasting, olive oil tasting has its own series of steps. After my first test sampler, I quickly realized I had never experienced authentic and fresh olive oil in my life. Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil has distinctive tastes and nuances, you can taste the grassiness and feel the tickle at the back of your throat from the polyphenols. Since then I’ve been hooked for the sensorial experience as well as the nutritional chemistry associated with every oil.
I’ve had this experience before with herbal medicines, a sub-par product with a sub-par active constituent will taste and feel quite differently from a premium prepared herbal tincture. Botanical medicine and extra virgin olive oil have one thing in common both are not regulated.
I’ve since jumped right in learning about the extra virgin olive oil industry, the scandals, the frauds and the companies that stand up to quality despite it all.
If this is a topic of interest I highly recommend the following.
Complimentary NPR Podcast on the topic. Highly recommend the book by Tom Mueller, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil. To find reputable olive oil companies you can check out this website: Truth in Olive Oil.
Be warned. Once you taste the real stuff you won’t be able to go back!
For my local readers, a Tom Mueller approved authentic tasting bars:
North Vancouver (Near Capilano Mall): Olives On Tap