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Turkey Olive Oil Tasting

Ankara, November 22, 2014

Bailliage of Ankara

Our tutor for this workshop held at the Neva Palas Hotel was none other than Prof. Dr. Yahya Laleli. An acknowledged expert in Biochemistry, Clinical Biochemistry and Nuclear Medicine, he founded Laleli Olive Oils in 1996 as a result of a lifelong study of olive oil in Turkey.

Dr Laleli’s company produces a wide variety of olive oils and its derivatives in his home town of Edremit. The award-winning products are sold not only in Turkey, but also Europe and even further afield.

His presentation began with a slide show on the history of olive oil, the regions where it is a fundamental element of civilisation and its health benefits.

With a better understanding of the vital role played by olive in our cuisine, as well as beauty and culture, we then progressed to the specifics of olive oil tasting based on our senses of smell and taste.

Dr Laleli informed us that the standard assessment of the taste and quality of an olive oil was a two-step process. The first step was to perform an objective chemical analysis. Afterwards a subjective sensory analysis was carried out by experts to identify the fragrances, taste, appearance, bitterness and the overall taste impressions of the oil.

We practiced this sensory analysis on the anonymous samples presented by Dr. Laleli in very small cups. Guided by our tutor we heated the cups in our hands smelling and tasting the oils one by one. Sliced green apple was used to clean our palates in between samples.

Lastly we moved to the buffet to try the various Laleli olive oils on the dishes which had been specially prepared without oil.

Yağmur Ҫakmak, Vice-Chargé de Missions