The day started with a different type of tasting – olive oil tasting.  We visited Frantoi Cutrera, a family business that has been a going concern for 4 generations.  On our tour we learned that olive oil production is rather simple process but once it starts, it is done in a hurry.  The olives are harvested around the clock between September and November and from the time they are picked to the time they are processed no more than 12 hours elapse.  And at the end of it all, there is no waste – after pressing the crushed pits and fruit are used as animal food and compost.

We sampled 4 different types of oil and much like tasting wine, one needs to mix it with air in the mouth to appreciate the full flavour profile.  Olive oils from the South are fruity and herbaceous on the palate but when tasting olive oil in this manner a hot peppery element is perceived at the back of the throat causing a tickle and a whole lot of coughing!  As we coughed and spluttered our way through the samples we were able to distinguish the different aromas and flavours each oil had to offer.  Tasting olive oils side by side really showcases the remarkable features and differences that distinguish them. Frantoi Cutrera’s oils are exported around the world and a variety of them can be found here in Canada at your local Italian grocer.