You’ve heard of cheese tastings but how about an olive oil tasting? A week ago I was having some friends over for dinner. Dinner was running behind (not a shocker in my house) so I looked around the kitchen to see what kind of appetizer I could make with what I had on hand. I had just acquired a few different kinds of olive oil and a giant baguette and my idea light bulb came on – let’s have an olive oil tasting! I cubed up the loaf and put it in a bowl, then poured three different kinds of olive oil into mini dipping blows. My fiance had the idea of using our cheese board to label them. Voila! Impromptu olive oil tasting!
I know I have a fancy-pants food blog but trust me, if I can do it, so can you! Continue reading for few tips for hosting your own olive oil tasting.
1. Use at least one “cheap” olive oil. This sounds counter intuitive but hear me out! Having a bland, boring olive oil will make your guests truly appreciate the complexity of your fancier choices. I picked a grocery store brand for my “cheap” oil.
2. Use two or three “fancy” olive oils. I suggest purchasing your olive oil at a gourmet food store where you can taste them ahead of time for a couple of reasons 1) It’s fun! Who doesn’t like tasting things? 2) You can learn all about the olive oil from helpful store associates. 3) You can select your favorites to share with your guests.
My go-to place for olive oil shopping is a store in Madison, Wisconsin called Vom Fass. Their olive oil is stored in casks so you can pick out what size and shape bottle you like, and they will fill it for you. Visit the Vom Fass website to find out if they have a location near you.
3. Cube some bread to use as dippers. I cubed up a freshly baked, crusty baguette and was shocked how quickly I ran out of bread! One baguette for every four people tasting is a good rule, and maybe have an extra one on hand in case your guests are extra hungry.
4. Spice it up. If plain olive oil and bread sounds too boring for you, spice it up with some olive oil dip mixes from Wine Seasonings. Add half a cup of olive oil, half a cup of wine, and the Wine Seasonings dip mix packet for a gourmet dip your friends won’t stop talking about! Shop for Wine Seasonings online at Wisconsinmade.com.
5. Send your gifts home with an olive oil party favor. One of our dinner guests liked the olive oil he tried so much I sent him home with a bottle and some instructions, don’t cook with it! Heat can destroy the delicate flavors of gourmet olive oil so use it for the three D’s- dipping, drizzling and dressing!
That’s all there is to it! I hope I’ve inspired you to have your own olive oil tasting!