A recent study found that almost 70% of oils labeled “extra virgin” olive oil on California retail shelves really aren’t extra virgin at all.
If you really want to know if your olive oil is extra virgin or not, try submitting it to the smell and “cough tests”.
Place a small amount of the oil into a small round glass (i.e. shot glass or wine glass).
Cover the top of the glass, and warm it with your body heat by rubbing it with your hands.
Now uncover the glass and take a deep smell of the now slightly warmed oil.
True extra virgin olive oil should have a grassy, fruity or vegetable like smell.
Next it’s time to for a taste test.
You do this in much the same way you taste wine.
Take a sip but don’t swallow.
Swirl the oil around in your mouth for a few seconds.
Keep your teeth together and part your lips slightly.
Then gently draw in some air.
Next, swirl the oil around your mouth so it mingles with the air.
If it’s genuine extra virgin olive oil, -reportedly you should experience a bitter or pepper like taste towards the back of your throat.
And you should actually cough:
“ A true extra virgin will reveal lots of fruit and vegetable flavours as you swirl it around your mouth and will have a peppery or bitter taste at the back of your throat when you swallow it. It’s normal to cough, and in fact, premium olive oils are often characterized as one-cough, two-cough or three-cough oil. The more coughing, the more the polyphenols and the better the oil!”
Originally published at www.quora.com.