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They say that variety is the spice of life and a variety of spices and flavors on hand in the kitchen means you’re prepared for any culinary adventure.
When it comes to real, fresh, extra virgin olive oil, some people might ask, well how can you improve upon perfection? And somebody who’s obsessed with garlic might say just add garlic!
Now for our garlicky friend, they are in luck because one of the many incredible things about the best olive oil is its ability to act like a sponge and one of the things that it readily sponges up are other flavors.
Maybe you've seen this before in kitchens across the Mediterranean where people fill mason jars up with olive oil and then stuff it with garlic, rosemary, thyme, red pepper, and other herbs and roots.
This way they create their own, homemade flavored olive oil. They have been doing it for centuries so be sure to consult a video before doing it yourself (shoot video on how to make your own garlic olive oil).
Now the DIY method is fun but time-consuming. Of course, I can make my own triple venti, no foam latte with soy milk, but I prefer a barista to do it.
That is exactly why flavored olive oil exists – to add amazing taste to any dish all with just a twist of a cap. Again, because of the versatility of flavors that fresh olive oil can assimilate, there are hundreds if not thousands of different flavored olive oils. In citrus alone you’ve got – Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, Eureka Lemon Olive Oil, Femminello Lemon, Lisbon, Verna, Blood Orange, Clementine, Mandarin, Naples, Grapefruit, California Lime, Blood Lime, Key Lime, Interdonato Lemon and I, uh, think that’s about it (not really though)
Naturally, not all flavored olive oil is made the same way. In fact, here in the U.S, we differentiate flavored olive oils based on how the flavor is combined with the oil. It can be either Infused or Fused.
Infused Olive Oil:
Infused olive oil includes the ‘soaking’ method is mentioned above and more recently by adding natural flavoring, flavor extracts and essential oils to fresh extra virgin olive oil. This is a less expensive and quick way to add flavor. Sometimes though the flavors are not fully expressed in the oil and they can occasionally ‘burn out’ when heated.
Fused Olive Oil:
There is a term in Italy used to describe ‘fused’ olive oil - Argumato. Historically, farmers in the Abruzzo region would add fresh citrus along with the olives and mill them together to create what we in the U.S call – fused olive oil.
Here at Nuvo Olive Oil, we are fortunate to be able to fuse our olive oil, meaning we derive the oil at the point of milling. We buy organic Meyer Lemons, for example, take them down to the mill and mill them with the olives where they are first cold pressed together – at the same time. This creates an incredible and beautiful fused olive oil.
Fused olive oil has all kinds of advantages over infused olive oils – mainly because the flavor is more stable and well-balanced when heated. Frying eggs or potatoes to make French fries in the Serrano Olive Oil and Garlic Olive Oil is very yum, yum, yum.
Today, we first cold press the olives not only with citrus but also with all kinds of fruit; root and herb to create hundreds of difference flavored olive oils. Because as mind-melting as the Garlic Olive Oil is, variety is the flavor of life!
Enjoy in Health!