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True, there are a lot of great olive oils produced in Spain, Italy and Greece, but award-winning EVOOs were from no less than 17 countries in this year’s NYIOOC. So keep your nationalism in check and open the door to a whole world of great olive oils.

Intensity is the level of green or ripe fruitiness perceived by the tasting panel. Why is this important? You might prefer a mild tasting olive oil, a robust and peppery one, or somewhere in the middle. Categorizing oils by fruitiness reveals the best olive oils for certain tastes and culinary uses.

There are thousands of olive varieties, or “cultivars,” in the world. And just like grape varieties express certain flavors in wine, olive cultivars exhibit certain tastes in extra virgin olive oils. Blends, on the other hand, capture the qualities of two or more cultivars for consistency and versatility.


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