A SHORT CONVERSATION WITH GUIDO BANDINELLI ABOUT THE TUSCANY OLIVE OIL TASTING SCHOOL
Why did you decide to start the Tuscany Olive Oil Tasting School?
My decision to start the Tuscany Olive Oil Tasting School, has been determined mainly by two reasons:
My big passion for High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the wish to communicate it correctly. Unfortunately, as long as a good 90% of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the world, is of industrial origin and as long as the vast majority of those types of Extra Virgin Olive Oils should NOT GET LABELED AS SUCH, because they are packed with defects , I believe that is necessary to teach people to distinguish between a bad extra virgin olive oil and a good or an excellent High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Considering also, that the chemical analysis are normally not provided by the producers and also because not many people would be able to understand them, I believe that the “Sensory Analysis” remains the only medium to the consumer to assess the level of quality of an extra virgin olive oil. From here my wish to start an “Olive Oil Tasting School” , where to teach to taste the olive oil correctly, in order to learn to recognize and to evaluate its quality, thus to become capable to distinguish the difference between a poor quality extra virgin olive oil and a high quality one.
Why is so important, to learn to recognize a High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Because a poor quality extra virgin olive oil is practically a DEAD FOOD entirely devoid of any nutritional value but for calories.
A High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead, not only is good for the palate but we can consider it a SUPER FOOD an authentic balm for the human organism. A High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil is mainly comprised of monounsaturated fatty acids, a healthier type of fat, that reduces total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol levels. The High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, in particular, provides a high content of antioxidants, like polyphenols, vitamins E and K, chlorophyll and carotenoids. Antioxidants are key to strengthening the immune system and protecting the body from the damaging effects of free-radical molecules, therefore it can be considered also a powerful “anti-aging” food. Finally, I would like to add that, the High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains also anti-inflammatory agents, like oleocanthal, that acts as a natural ibuprofen-like substance, so we can consider it a food with important anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Why just “Tuscany” Olive Oil Tasting School instead of simply “Olive Oil Tasting School”?
Because Tuscany is my specialization. I was born and raised in Tuscany from Tuscan parents and I am still living here in Tuscany right now, therefore I know this territory and its products ( especially wine and olive oil) much better than other ones from other areas. I am not parochial at all, I know well that exist many WONDERFUL High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oils from other areas of Italy and from other areas of the world but same as for the wine school that I run (the “Tuscany Wine Tasting School” which is at the moment my main activity), Tuscany remains my specialization and along with my main goal, which is to teach a valid and consistent “olive oil tasting technique” which is a “universal method ” that can get applied to any type of olive oil, from any part of the world, my second goal is to communicate about the characteristics of the wonderful Tuscan, High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oils (entirely from artisan production) and to recognize it and to distinguish it from other ones and to enjoy it at its best!
What type of school is the Tuscany Olive Oil Tasting School?
The Tuscany Olive Oil Tasting School is a school online, with LIVE, virtual classes on ZOOM, where I teach to taste the olive oil correctly in order to render the students capable to distinguish between a High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a poor quality extra virgin olive oil. Then, my other main goal is to promote the culture of High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil in general and more specifically, of the High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Tuscany simply because, as I have already explained before, Tuscany is my area of specialization, both for wine and olive oil.