Flavor and Taste
Let's start off by saying that olive oil should smell and taste like fresh olives. After all, it’s the juice of olives we are talking about.
Then according to the variety (or cultivar), to where it grows, to the soil, the climatic conditions, the harvest date, the ripeness, and the extraction process, the olive oil will have a wide range of characteristics. The differences are in the taste, color, smell, and feel. Some will be fruitier, bitter and/or peppery than others.
Flavor Categories of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oils (EVO oils) can be divided into 3 main flavor categories.
Delicate or Mild EVO Oils
A delicate oil will have a slight fruity taste, no bitterness at all, and a slightly peppery finish.
Medium EVO Oils
A medium oil will have a stronger fruity taste, it will be more flavorful, slightly bitter with a peppery or spicy finish.
Robust EVO Oils
A robust olive oil has a bold flavor, a great bitterness, and a very prominent peppery finish.
Note. For the purpose of this course, consider that delicate and fruity flavored oils will be perfect for delicate ingredients like fresh herbs, while robust oils are best for flavorings like pepper, chili and dried elements.