Why does the olive oil pinch?
Who has never tasted a little raw olive oil and felt a slight discomfort in the throat? Who calls it "pinch", who calls it "bitter", who says it’s "spicy", who says it "burns", but in all cases we often hear that it pinches because it is good.
But is it really like that?
Sure thing! High quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is produced from olives that are not completely ripe, but which allow the oil to be rich in polyphenols, natural antioxidants that are excellent for our health. And they are responsible for this important feature of many oils. However, the presence of polyphenols tends to decrease over time, making the oil less "pinching". In these cases you will also hear about more "mature" oil, always excellent, but with a lower presence of polyphenols.
The younger the oil is, the greater will be the sensation of "tingling" in the throat, which over time will lessen. There are also olive cultivars more subject to this characteristic than others, such as Coratina or Frantoio, which keep the tingling for many months, if well preserved. For those who can not stand the oil that pinches, choose a slightly more mature oil or cultivars such as Leccino or Ogliarola Salentina. Be aware that the extra-virgin olive oil remains so high quality until about 18 or 20 months from the pressing, but rarely afterwards.
Soon, we will tell you how to recognize the age of an oil. Let's debunk a myth: The "tingling" of the oil has nothing to do with its free acidity, which can only be detected by laboratory analysis. Every good crusher analyzes the oil and communicates its degree of acidity to the producer. Tip: get used to your palate to appreciate the tingling of the oil. Your body will be grateful to you.