What is Tastebook?
Tastebook is a sensory training initiative in appreciating, describing and understanding how to improve the quality of evoo and table olives.
Tastebook includes tasting of olive oils and table olives, assessing their characteristics, and providing feedback on the style, quality and uses of the sample products that aims to expose industry participants to regular sensory experiences and palate calibration for olive products, and to assist in gaining an understanding of how to achieve product excellence.
Tastebook aims to encourage a conversation on judging methodology and enables benchmarking of participant performance against senior judges. Participants are also encouraged to benchmark their own products against the samples provided.
Tastebook is a component of a broader professional development platform for competition judges that proposes to include Masterclasses for evoo and table olive judging as well as annual refresher courses, and an expansion of the National Young Judges Program. Tastebook aims to:
- Provide regular tasting experiences and training to upskill an expanded pool of Australian evoo and table olive judges within the AOA judges training and accreditation framework.
- Integrate training with the e-learning modules which are linked to Units of Competency from the National Training Framework (NTF). These competencies can be bundled with other units to achieve a formal qualification such as FDF30111 Certificate III in Food Processing, or AHC40310 Certificate IV in Production Horticulture.
- Improved industry awareness, knowledge, skills and capacity in sensory assessment of evoo, table olives and other olive products.
- Enhance a culture of continuous improvement and excellence in the Australian olive industry
- Increase exposure of the Australian olive industry to International events and expertise.
Outputs from The Tastebook program will include a publication which will serve as a future training guide for competition judges.
Participants may share their tasting experience with family, friends and staff – simply submit a survey return for each taster.
Subject to available funding we aim to send out samples on a bimonthly basis to all national, state and regional competition judges and associate judges, as well as to trainees including young judges and AOA Code of Practice Signatories (now rebranded as OliveCare™), and to other interested industry participants.
Note: please let us know if you would like to be included in future rounds of Tastebook.
Tastebook samples are packed and dispatched by Orana Inc. which aims to create opportunities for people with disability to live and work within their local community, fulfill their dreams and become valued and productive community members: https://www.oranaonline.com.au/
Shane Cummins, AOA Chief EVOO Judge and Tastebook Convenor
Tastebook Round 2 (May 2017)