Customers are often surprised at the variety of flavors we showcase when they first come into our tasting room and are often curious about the intensive flavor profiles of our products. I invite you to attend one of our Olive Oil 101 classes to learn about our quality Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Olis and Aged Balsamic Vinegars. In these 25 minutes classes, we educate customers and consumers about the chemical markers that define quality levels of olive oils, we discuss the health benefits of high quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars, and we describe traditional methods of pressing olives and making balsamic vinegars. We also talk about the differences of infused flavors and fused flavors in OLIVE OIL 101, which is what I would like discuss today.
Most of INFUSED Oils & Vinegars flavored oils and all of our flavored balsamic vinegars are produced using a process called ‘infusion’. Webster tells us that to infuse means “to steep a substance in liquid, without boiling, so as to extract the soluble constituent or principles”. Tea is an example of an infused liquid. Albeit, the water must be hot to extract the most flavor from the tea leaves, but the leaves simply sit in the hot water for a period of time and English Breakfast or Earl Grey Tea flavor slowly permeates the water. In a similar way, our infused products are made by steeping natural, organic plants in extra-virgin olive oils and traditional balsamic vinegar. No heat is ever applied in this process. This is extremely important when creating our infused olive oils, because introducing heat to an olive oil would severely compromise the oil quality. Once we infuse plant essence into the extra-virgin oil, the USDA dictates that it can no longer be classified as ‘Extra Virgin.” However, you can be assured that all of our infused products start with the highest quality standard of extra-virgin olive oils.
At INFUSED Oils & Vinegars, we also carry fused products which are produced in a completely different way. The term fused refers to a unique artisan process of crushing whole olives together with perfectly ripe, fresh produce, using strictly cold mechanical extraction. This process, known by the Italian term ‘Agrumato’ requires both the olive and the secondary fruit/vegetable to be at peak ripeness. Timing of the harvest becomes critical, because the olives must be pressed within hours of harvest. The resulting ‘fused’ flavors are incredibly intense and robust, even more so than our infused flavor profiles. We carry 5 flavors of fused olive oils: Blood Orange, Lemon, Rosemary, Baklouti Green Chili, and Cayenne Chili and I recommend you stop in to try every one of them.
One other item of note: No ingredients, other than the plant essence of the flavors we are trying to achieve, are ever added to the olive oils and vinegars. This means no artificial colors, no sweetners, and no thickeners. This also results in the healthiest, purest products for the market.
Champagne is the only way to start a party! And then the cooking demonstrations…three hands-on demonstrations in 4 days!
Suzy recently met Chef Michelle at one of her classes, did a little more research and posted an excellent article on her Blog about Infused Olive Oils & Vinegars.