By Aaron Hutcherson
The third annual New York International Olive Oil Competition took place this month, where a panel of 15 expert tasters spent three days evaluating nearly 700 different olive oils.
Seven hundred olive oils? Yes. A lot of variations exist in the world of oil. The first kind that likely comes to mind is “extra virgin,” which signifies more nutrients, less refinement and a more nuanced flavor. Many experts liken olive oil to wine in terms of its breadth of flavor. Olive oil can range from sweet to bitter or smooth to astringent, and it can have any combination of floral, fruity or grassy notes.
Here are a few things I learned at the competition that will help you shop for, store and cook smarter with oil: