Today at the Olive Farm we tasted our 2012 harvest oils and selected which oils were to a standard to be sent to competitions. This taste review of our oils allows us to compare new oils, compare how the oils tasted from initial harvest, and now after decanting and resting from milling.
Competitions are important for us to compare our oils to other oils from millers and growers in California and around the world. It provides important feedback to us as to how the masters taste panels and judges assess our oils in comparison to all the other entries. If you do not do ongoing comparisons of how your oils taste, you will not be able to self-judge and change or maintain you’re growing and milling practices.
Dependent on oil variety, each oil has a range of flavors from pungent to mild to green to buttery. Each oil also has a shelf life at which the oil is at its peak, losing flavor, or just developing great flavor at 6 months after milling. Much of the oils’ flavor depends on harvest time – early or late – method of milling, and post-milling handling, or storage of the oils before bottling. Much of the oils’ flavor depends on the individual olive tree variety. At Il Fiorello we grow many types of olives and have many decisions as to harvest time, milling methods, and storage. The oil competitions allow us to compare our decisions in harvest, milling, and storage with others of similar varieties.
The competitions are: New York International Olive Oil, LA International, Yolo, California Olive Oil Council, and Napa competitions. We select specific oils to be judged at each show depending on variety, interest, and previous performance in judging.
We have been very successful in winning multiple awards for the past 6 years and look forward to a continuation of this record. Remember: It is only a subjective tasting by judges who have been tasting oils for a long time. The goal is to find the oil that best represents what a specific variety should taste like. Given that different varieties may taste different if grown in different climate regions, under different conditions, or variances in milling, this becomes a difficult job.
We will submit our oils and await the results of the judging. In the meantime come taste our oils and be a judge yourself. It really is in the end what you like and how you want to use the oils in your diet and kitchen.