3 Best Ways To Neutralize The Olive Oil Taste and Its Bitterness

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  • Post category:Olive Oil
  • Post last modified:August 31, 2023
olive oil with tomato and garlic on the table

No doubt, not everyone likes olive oil. Some people just don’t find it tasty, and it’s completely fine. However, that shouldn’t stop you from consuming it, and today I’m going to show you how you can neutralize the olive oil taste and its bitterness so that you can adapt to its taste quicker.

To neutralize the olive oil taste and get rid of its bitterness, you can:

  • mix it with a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar,
  • make a blend with sunflower oil,
  • heat it in the pan with the water.

Even though I don’t recommend doing some of the above because it can affect the olive oils’ nutritional values, if that’s the only way for you to adapt to its taste, you can try these methods.

Once you adapt to olive oil taste, you will be able to consume it without neutralizing its taste, which is for me, perfect. I used to hate that “bitter” taste of olive oil, but now I’m a big fan of it, especially when I know that all that taste comes from extremely healthy antioxidants – polyphenols, that are found in extra virgin olive oil.

3 Ways To Neutralize The Olive Oil Taste and Its Bitterness

So, let’s get into the details and see the exact ways and steps you should take if you want to get rid of olive oil bitterness.

1. Mix It With a Lemon Juice or Vinegar

Mixing olive oil with some acid food will help you to mellow its strong green taste and bitterness. One of the best ways to do it is by squeezing a lemon or adding a little bit of white vinegar into it.

In my opinion, lemon juice is the best way to neutralize olive oil taste. Vinegar may be too strong and could affect the flavor incorrectly, too.

For instance, when you’re making a salad and want to season it with some olive oil, you can add lemon juice to it. There’s no need to add too much lemon juice, just a little bit so it can neutralize the odor.

2nd thing, you can also pour some white vinegar. Vinegar is already commonly used in salads so it won’t be a problem for anyone. Personally, I use Aceto balsamico, which is my favorite acidic salad dressing, especially when mixing it with olive oil, and it somehow gives some freshness to the salad.

2. Make a Blend With Sunflower Oil

For those of you who are still adapting to olive oil taste, you can try mixing it with sunflower oil or any other oil that you usually consume most of the time. That’ll help you to adapt to the taste and smell of olive oil slowly.

Fun fact, most restaurants use this method to reduce their costs of olive oil. Many times when I go to the restaurant, I just see that it’s not pure extra virgin olive oil. They almost always add some sunflower oil in order to make even more profit.

So, here’s how I would do it if I were you:

  • Start mixing it 50:50
  • Gradually, as you adapt to the olive oil taste, reduce the sunflower oil ratio
  • When you reach 0% sunflower oil and 100% olive oil, congratulations, you’re entirely adapted to olive oil taste

This method works best when using olive oil for cooking chicken, some vegetables, fish, pasta, etc. You can also use this method for seasoning salads, but I highly recommend the 1st method for that.

3. Heat The Olive Oil and Water In The Pan

This is the way I don’t recommend you do it. However, I’ll still explain to you how it’s done. So, if you want to try it, go ahead, but do keep in mind that mixing it with boiling water may reduce some antioxidants in the oil, and actually, the whole process is pretty long.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Pour some water into the pan and heat it until the water starts boiling
  • Add olive oil into the boiling water
  • Cook it for 1 minute, and then set aside to allow the water and oil to completely separate. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.
  • Slowly spoon out the olive oil from the pan, make sure not to take any water with it.

As you can see, this method is so far the “longest “out of all three. Also, I don’t recommend doing that because polyphenols (healthy nutrients in olive oil) will dissolve in the water, making the olive oil less healthy.

Slight Bitterness Is Completely Normal For Olive Oil

I want you to know that slight bitterness is a completely normal taste for olive oil, especially for extra virgin olive oil. Not only it’s normal, but it’s also a sign that the olive oil is high-quality, cold-pressed, and with many healthy antioxidants in it. That’s why olive oil may taste a bit bitter. I wrote an easy guide on tasting olive oil, so make sure to check it out. You’ll learn all the smells and tastes you should experience when consuming olive oil.

Mixing olive oil with lemon juice and vinegar when making salads is a great thing. You can also try infusing some garlic or rosemary (especially when eating fish), but try avoiding 2nd method, especially 3rd one.

Again, if mixing olive oil with sunflower oil is the only way to consume it, don’t bother doing it until you’re ready to use only olive oil. That’ll make it more palatable for you.

One extremely important thing – make sure to use proper containers for storing olive oil. Some materials, such as PVC, may affect the taste of olive oil, making it taste very bad with time.

Get Used To Olive Oil Taste

Olive oil has a completely different taste from all other oils, especially the extra virgin olive oil, which I recommend for you. It’ll take some time to adapt to its bitter, greenish taste and smell, but once you adjust, trust me, you’ll only want to use olive oil instead of horrible and unhealthy sunflower oil.

I started out using olive oil only in salads, but nowadays, I use it when cooking most dishes – goulash, chicken breasts, pasta foods, bolognese, and especially fish.

It didn’t taste charming for me, too. However, I completely adapted to extra virgin olive oil with time (and by using some of the above methods that I learned from some sommeliers), and honestly, now I couldn’t imagine my life without using it in the kitchen.

Of course, some of you guys will immediately like the taste of olive oil, and that’s a great thing – one reason more to start using it more often.