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Taste Test Thursday with Olive Oil

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From left to right: L'Estornell and Mas Portell, both from Spain and from the nutty arbequina olive; Mastri Di San Basilio a Riserva from Sicily and Lochitello, also from Sicily

1 From left to right: L'Estornell and Mas Portell, both from Spain and from the nutty arbequina olive; Mastri Di San Basilio a Riserva from Sicily and Lochitello, also from Sicily

First taste: L'Estornell which has a nice golden color

2 First taste: L'Estornell which has a nice golden color

And next is the Mas Portell with a slightly green tinge.

3 And next is the Mas Portell with a slightly green tinge.

Lochitello which is seemingly thicker with the slightest hint of green

4 Lochitello which is seemingly thicker with the slightest hint of green

Mastri Di San Basilio, a riserva, grassy and pale green in color

5 Mastri Di San Basilio, a riserva, grassy and pale green in color

And Shavon's (on the left) and Monty's (on the right) tasting sheets

6 And Shavon's (on the left) and Monty's (on the right) tasting sheets

With so many olive oils in the market from  many countries, it was difficult choosing which to try. But with only a short time frame, we decided to taste four;  two from Spain and two from Italy. Figuring out which to try first posed a problem too-- should it be the fruitiest, the greenest, the one with the most bite and how could we know that without tasting anyway? We went with the two from Spain because they're both made from the same olive, the arbequina. First up Le Estornell, followed by Mas Portell.

We tasted by slurping a little of each oil in our mouths and then with some bread. The remarks were from nice color, no aroma (from Shavon about number 2) to peppery bite (which is supposed to be a good thing in olive oil indicating the presence of good-for-your poly-phenols, but not loved by all). The Mas Portell was Shavon's favorite; she picked up hints of nuts and a pleasant aroma.

Next two were the Lochitello and the Mastri di San Basilio, both from Sicily. The Locitello is made from the biancolilla olive and had a nice mouthfeel and good olive flavor with a hint of nuts. The hands-down favorite for both myself and Monty was the Mastri di San Basilio with its note of citrus and nuts, its long finish and mild, peppery back-of-the-throat finish. Interesting to note-- we all tasted different things and came away with different thoughts but that's what a tasting is all about; no right or wrong here, just opinion.

Comments (4)

  • Love, love, love the show! On March 23, I was lucky enough to call in and win a copy of Pies & Tarts, and it hasn't yet arrived. I'm excited to make some Spring goodies, and wondered when I can expect it. Thank you!

  • re: the Mastri di San Basilio Olive Oil from Sicily. The Lady (Martha Stewart) got it right. Actually, she used all the right words. It is my absolute fave and truly is THAT good. Look for it and you will never again change brands. Enjoy.

  • Hello! I m a new listener and had to comment on how enjoyable it is listening to your show. Your descriptions and cadence are wonderful and you have me interested from start o finish. If I arrive at my destination during your show, I will sit in a parking lot and wait until you have finished to get out! You are fabulous!

  • Thanks for all the great comments!

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