Hello and Welcome,
My name is Karen and I’m passionate about EVOO, AOVE – Extra Virgin Olive Oil in other words! When I say I’m passionate about it, I just can’t get enough of the stuff, which is funny really because I can’t abide greasy things. So you’d think that me and Olive Oil weren’t natural buddies, but you’d be wrong. Good quality, extra virgin, the first pressing of liquid gold, unadulterated oil – pure magic. It’s oily for sure, but not greasy.
You may have heard all sorts of wonderful claims for the health benefits of Olive Oil and a Mediterranean Diet – and for the most part you’d be right in thinking that it really is a wonder product. BUT, all the health claims, benefits and excitement centre predominantly on Extra Virgin (or Virgen Extra as it’s called in Spain where I spend a lot of my time). Next best is Virgin Olive Oil, then Olive Oil and all the other stuff – Refined Olive Oil, Olive Pomace Oil won’t do you any harm, but they won’t do you as much good as you might assume. It’s all to do with the polyphenols.
I’m a Certified Olive Oil Sommelier, having completed my training through IRVEA’s Olive Oil Academy on the shores of Lake Garda (I know, tough work but someone has to do it!). My aim is to work with like-minded professionals and producers to energise the Olive Oil industry in the UK, as well as providing a reliable source of information and advice to consumers, alongside tastings and food pairing workshops. As a taster, tester, consumer and cook who’s on a mission to know more, I’m reading, learning, attending workshops, visiting producers and most importantly of all – tasting and using – as much oil as I can get my hands on.
So, if you’re interested in your health, worried about what exactly is in the bottle, concerned about fraudulent claims, fancy learning what to taste for and how to replace other oils in your kitchen with healthy olive oil then come along for the ride – it’s great to have you on board. Let’s swap stories, share our experiences and have some fun along the way.
The Olive Oil Taster