High quality artisan olive oil can be as complicated to understand as fancy wine. Just like wine, olive oil flavors vary greatly by year and season. Furthermore, the flavors of enFuso Smoked Olive oil also depend on variables such as…
- The base oil used
- The type of wood used for smoking
- Amount of time spent in smoker
enFuso currently smokes two types of base extra virgin olive oil … an early harvest and a late harvest.
The early harvest oil, a grassy & peppery base
This oil has a strong flavor often described as pungent, peppery, and grassy. To achieve this flavor, the olive is picked early in the harvest while olives are just beginning to ripen from green to brown. Normally an early harvest oil is more expensive since each olive is less ripe and thus produces less oil. The sought after flavor of an early harvest is often mixed with late harvest to enhance flavor and increase shelf life. Early harvest oil has an added health benefit of higher concentration of polyphenols and antioxidants. Do not be surprised if the pepperiness causes a slight tickle in the throat or coughing.
Our early harvest base oil was harvested when there was a perfect blend between green, turning and dark olives ensuring that fresh wheat grass flavor without over emphasizing the peppery bite. Because this oil has so much character, it is more likely that the oil flavors will come through as well as the smoke flavors. You can get the best result by drizzling it over a completed recipe or as a final finish to a cooking step.
We have smoked this with apple, maple and grave vine woods.
The late harvest, a smooth buttery base
The buttery olive oil flavor is the more common of the two. It is often used to dip bread, make a salad dressing, or as a saute oil. The buttery flavor reveals that the olive was harvested when fully ripened and the result should be a lighter or milder flavor. We take this mild buttery flavor and add smokiness. Because the oil flavor is so mild, the smoky flavor will come through stronger. For someone looking for a familiar flavor, the buttery base will likely suit your fancy. It is delicious dipping alone with fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese or for flavoring after food is cooked when you want that buttery taste.
Our current buttery base is a 50/50 blend of full flavored late harvest Arbequina from the Capay Valley growing region and some milder Arbequina from the Stockton/Lodi growing region.
We have smoked this with apple and maple woods.
Due to the constantly changing batches of olive oil that we smoke, look out for new combos of base plus wood and smokiness in the future.
For more information on enFuso visit our website at http://www.enfuso.com. Or find us on facebook and Twitter. Hope you all enjoy!