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The Daily Meal: What You Should Know Before Buying Olive Oil

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What Does Good Olive Oil Taste Like?

A good extra-virgin olive oil will exhibit fruitiness; in fact, it is the minimum criterion for the IOC to consider an olive oil for the extra-virgin grade. What, exactly, is fruitiness? Simon Field, instructor for Savantes, an olive oil certification program for producers, says a fruity olive oil is "reminiscent of both the odor and taste of sound, fresh fruit" which can be "picked at its optimum stage of ripeness" but can also be reminiscent of unripe fruit, like green tomatoes, to name one example, or even a vegetable. It should, in other words, smell and taste like fresh produce.

It can also exhibit pepperiness and bitterness, two other desirable characteristics that may seem surprising to someone tasting a good oil for the first time. These are not flaws; rather, they are evidence that an oil is fresh and that it contains beneficial compounds like polyphenols. Polyphenols have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and help protect the oil from spoiling.

(Credit: Hermera/Thinkstock)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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