How we make our flavoured oils
Meet Corrado, our expert olive miller who we have been working with for over 10 years. Corrado thrives on innovation and our range of award-winning flavoured oils are the results of his talents, attention to detail and passion for the Mediterranean culinary traditions.
"The skill in perfecting a flavoured oil is finding the right subtlety between the ingredient and olive flavours to produce a balanced taste each time."
Our gran misto of seven flavours have been created with Corrado over the years through flavour experiments and trial and error to perfect the method. But these flavours have stuck and for good reason - they have even won awards for their great flavour and their eye-catching packaging.
The skill in perfecting a flavoured oil is finding the right subtlety between the ingredient and olive flavours to produce a balanced taste each time. As different flavour ingredients behave differently, we use two different methods: infused and fused (which we refer to as our agrumato method).
fused & infused flavoured oils
- Infused flavoured olive oil is when the dried ingredient is left in the extra virgin olive oil over a period of time. The flavour is created through the infusion of the ingredient's taste into the fresh olive oil.
- Fused flavoured olive oil is when we grind the whole, fresh raw ingredients directly with the olives in the oil press. The essential oils of the ingredients are released together with the olives' oil, fusing them together at a deep level. We refer to this method as ‘agrumato’.
Agrumato method of fused olive oils
Agrumato is the term for the method of making a citrus flavoured olive oil which originated in Abruzzo, where the whole citrus fruit is crushed directly with the olives in the press to make the flavoured olive oil.
In Italian agrumato means ‘citrusy’
Agrumato lemon and mandarin oils were the first flavours we started to make using this method. With citrus fruit much of the flavour comes from the skin which holds the citrus oil and thus the flavour. This is why with the agrumato method using and the whole ingredient the flavour is so powerful.
With Corrado we expanded on this idea and experimented with other flavours to see what else would work crushing the whole ingredients such as fresh herbs and garlic. While agrumato directly refers to citrus in the meaning of the word, we call our fused oils agrumato style as it refers to the origin of this method of grinding up the ingredients with the olives.
Infusing flavour into olive oil
Chilli and thyme oils are our two infused oils in the gran misto. Why are these infused instead of agrumato method? Very good question.
Corrado found that when using the agrumato method that grinding up the fresh chillies created more of a capsicum or pepper flavour rather than chilli. Agrumato is about the fresh ingredients, so Corrado moved on to testing infusion with different timings and chillies. By sourcing good quality dried chillies, Corrado was then able to adjust the technique, timings, and quantities and find the right balance in the chilli oil between taste and spiciness.
While crushing fresh rosemary worked well, crushing fresh thyme did not. Perhaps the clue was in the name, but thyme lost its clarity of flavour when it was ground with the olives, but infusing the dried herb over time created the best result.
But even with a perfected method, you must ensure one thing above all to make a good flavoured oil....
REAL, RAW, QUALITY INGREDIENTS
All Nudo flavoured olive oils are made with freshly harvested olives and high quality raw, real flavour ingredients. No cutting corners by adding flavours afterwards and certainly no artificial additives. This is why they have a pure and authentic flavour, as if they are fresh from the garden.
Many flavoured olive oils on the market are made by adding flavour additives oils to the olive oil rather than using the real ingredient. This creates a flavoured oil with at best a simpler taste and at worst an artificial taste. For all Nudo flavoured olives oils we use real, raw Italian ingredients. The flavour is pure and real and is combined with the olives and olive oil directly from the source.
This means that the ingredient's quality is paramount. The flavour comes from the components of the whole ingredient being suspended in the olive oil. If the ingredient is compromised through damage, pests, or additive this is going to impact the oils flavour. Likewise, it goes without saying that the higher quality your flavour ingredients the better your oil will be - flavourless lemons will produce flavourless lemon oil.
Flavoured olive oils cannot be classified as extra virgin as they have the other ingredients in them, however with Nudo flavoured olives oils the quality is still the same. The olives we use are extra virgin quality, pressed the same day they are harvested from the local Le Marche groves. This is crucial to the quality of the flavoured oil; while the flavour ingredient may be the star of the show, the olive flavour is supporting every step of the way and in flavoured oils subpar olives or olive oil would be make or break in the overall flavour.
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