Tasting Olive Oil

Olive Oil Tasting Program to Follow NYIOOC

On April 30, the Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program returns to New York's International Culinary Center (ICC) for an intensive, 6-day course in olive oil sensory assessment.

Jan. 16, 2018
By Olive Oil Times Staff

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When hun­dreds of olive oil enthu­si­asts descend on New York on April 26 for the 2018 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition and the unveil­ing of the year’s best olive oils, many will be stay­ing an extra week to become expert olive oil tasters.

On April 30, the Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program returns to New York’s International Culinary Center (ICC) for an inten­sive, 6‑day course in olive oil sen­sory assess­ment. Enrollment for the course is capped at 45, and seats are fill­ing quickly with people taking advan­tage of the oppor­tu­nity to attend olive oil’s pre­mier indus­try event and the tast­ing course in one trip.

The six-day, two-level pro­gram pro­duced by ICC and the Olive Oil Times Education Lab fea­tures the world’s fore­most olive oil experts and edu­ca­tors in a com­pre­hen­sive series of courses span­ning pro­duc­tion, qual­ity man­age­ment, and advanced sen­sory assess­ment.

Those who suc­cess­fully com­plete the course receive a joint olive oil som­me­lier cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and join a grow­ing com­mu­nity of olive oil sen­sory ana­lysts and edu­ca­tors.

So far, the pro­gram has offered four ses­sions in New York and one in California that saw stu­dents travel from every corner of the world — 22 coun­tries in all — toward becom­ing experts in olive oil sen­sory assess­ment.

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Past atten­dees ranged from small pro­duc­ers to rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the very largest; from qual­ity-con­trol tech­ni­cians to pro­fes­sional chefs and restau­ra­teurs; from inde­pen­dent retail­ers to major dis­trib­u­tors.

Over the course of the week, par­tic­i­pants will be led through guided tast­ings of more than 130 sam­ples of olive oil from 26 coun­tries by instruc­tors from Italy, Greece, Chile, Spain, New York and California.

The inter­ac­tive pro­gram spans the his­tory and cul­ture of olive oil, olive tree cul­ti­va­tion and har­vest­ing, milling and pro­duc­tion, health ben­e­fits and chem­istry, qual­ity man­age­ment, culi­nary appli­ca­tions and food pair­ing and, of course, the sen­sory eval­u­a­tion of extra virgin olive oil.

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In fact, past par­tic­i­pants of the pro­gram have wasted little time putting their exper­tise and con­nec­tions to work around the world.

“Fabulous course with incred­i­ble amounts of infor­ma­tion that can (and will) be used as a ref­er­ence guide for years to come. Thank you for expo­sure to knowl­edge­able experts we were unlikely to have the oppor­tu­nity to meet,” a pro­ducer from California who com­pleted the six-day pro­gram said.

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Another pro­ducer who, after the pro­gram, returned to imme­di­ately over­see the olive har­vest in Turkey said, “I have learned much more than I expected. It was a very well struc­tured and orga­nized course.”

To reg­is­ter for the pro­gram, visit the Olive Oil Times Education Lab web­site.