Flavored Olive Oil 101
Look through the shelves of specialty food stores and you’re likely to come across a dazzling array of gourmet olive oils labeled fused, infused or flavored with herbs, aromatics or spices.
To a casual foodie, these are all flavored olive oils. But not all are created equal. In this article, we’ll look at how one is different from the other.
What are flavored olive oils? These are oils made from olives combined with an herb, aromatic or essence that result in olive oil with an additional flavor. They can be used in a variety of culinary applications – as marinades, for dipping bread in or mixed in vinaigrettes and dressings, even used as a finishing flourish to cocktails.
Fused, infused or flavored? So, what’s the difference? Though they may all seem the same, there are subtle differences. The method by which they are flavored results in different taste profiles.
Fused Olive Oils. Fused is a term for combining elements of different culinary techniques. One method is called “agrumato” where fresh produce, herbs or aromatics are placed on top of fresh olives and blended with the oil in a “cold press” process.
Hence the term “fused”. This method of incorporating flavor into the oil results in a intense and aromatic flavor. The process of flavoring olive oil through this method is labor intensive and involves many steps.
Understandably, fused olive oils are more expensive than other varieties of flavored olive oils. Essentially, they undergo the same process as extracting extra virgin olive oil. While this may be the case, fused olive oils cannot be labeled as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, however, since there are other ingredients added to the oil other than olives.
The other method we have seen in the marketplace is the combining of an Infused Olive Oil with a Flavored Olive Oil creating a culinary fusion.
Infused Olive Oils. Another option of adding flavor to olive oils is by adding fresh ingredients after the oil has been processed. Fresh herbs and/or spices are added to the olive oil and steeped for four to six weeks.
The oil is closely monitored to ensure that no bacteria growth or contamination has occurred. The resultant product is a truly fresh herb/spice flavor that will not dissipate with cooking or baking.
Flavored Olive Oils. The third and most simple method of adding flavor to olive oil is by adding extracts or flavor concentrates. While not as natural as infused or some fused olive oils, these are nevertheless excellent choices and make a good addition to any kitchen pantry to add interesting flavors to dressings, marinades or even baked goods.
Be Creative – The Many Ways of Using Flavored Olive Oils!
Dressings and Marinades. With their “built in” flavors, using flavored olive oils makes whipping up out-of-the-ordinary dressings and marinades a cinch.
Baking bread. Olive oil is used in many basic bread recipes such as focaccia, biscotti, olive bread, or even in pizza dough. It becomes possible to create fresh and interesting variations by using fused, infused or flavored olive oils.
The most common flavoring is rosemary but other flavors such as garlic-mushroom, tuscan herbs, or even cilantro expand the horizons. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!
Of course, the classic way to enjoy olive oil with bread is as a dip. With flavored olive oil, you can enjoy a snack or a pre-dinner treat with more variety. A sprinkling of sea salt and a twist of the pepper mill and you’re set.
Upgrade the mashed potato game. While the ultimate comfort food is mashed potatoes made creamy and flavorful with butter and cream, a splash of fused, infused or flavored olive oil can take them to another level.
Add unexpected herby notes to an already tasty treat and be prepared to wow your family and guests.
Roast Chicken. Instead of just the usual, go one step further by brushing onions and garlic, even whole baby potatoes with flavored oil. While you’re at it, massage the oil into the chicken and sprinkle the whole bit with salt and pepper.
We guarantee that your roast chicken will not only taste extraordinary, your kitchen will smell wonderful with an amazing aroma of fused, infused or flavored olive oil.
Drizzle, drizzle and drizzle. To add instant oomph to pasta or pizza (yes, even the ones delivered to your doorstep), try drizzling fused, infused or flavored olive oil over them.
Or make an antipasti platter more special by drizzling over your selection of olives, charcuterie, cheeses and bread with an outstanding fused or infused olive oil. Pair with a red wine, or a cocktail (see suggestions below, too!) and you’re ready for a party.
Flavored pasta. If you’re a real foodie and like making your pasta from scratch, spice things up by adding flavor from the start. Instead of plain pasta, start with one already flavored with fused, infused or flavored olive oil with interesting combinations like garlic-mushroom or garlic chilli.
With outstanding flavors like these, you can get away with serving these cleanly – aglio olio style (sauteed with olive oil and garlic) with just a sprinkling of freshly chopped Italian parsley, pepper and some parmiggiano.
How about a cocktail? Olive oil cocktails are a trend now. Bartenders are discovering ways of adding a savory and aromatic component to drinks by floating a few drops of olive oil on top.
The Bootlegger, in San Diego serves a cocktail called Mi Familia, a drink that has white tequila, verde liqueur, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, fresh lime juice, basil, cucumbers and agave. Why not try adding your twist by using persian lime or meyer lemon flavored extra virgin olive oil instead of the plain EVOO?
Olive Oil Cake. People are always looking for alternatives to sweet desserts. That’s why olive oil cakes are popular now. If you already make these, you can mix things up a bit and add even more flavor by spiking it with some flavored olive oil.
Try adding cranberry walnut or blood orange flavored EVOO for variety.
Flavored Olive Oils – Our Top Sellers
CIBARIA International carries the highest quality certified extra virgin olive oils from the most reputable sources in the world. We partner with artisan growers from all over to bring you unique, varietal olive oils at their freshest so you are assured of the highest quality.
To ensure this, we strictly adhere to the IOC (International Olive Council) Standards and guarantee that our producers adhere to the highest possible quality assurance stipulations.
Included in our stellar lineup are the finest flavored extra virgin olive oils, fused and infused olive oils.
We carry the top most popular varieties, along with other unique yet interesting flavor combinations that any serious foodie or chef will love in their pantry. Here are just a sample from among our extensive line of what we have to offer:
Fused Olive Oils
Or try these:
Infused Olive Oils
Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Some mask less than stellar olive oils with flavors to hide imperfections. CIBARIA does it right by starting with the highest quality olive oil and enhancing it with flavors that make any dish it’s added to pop and sizzle.
Flavored Olive Oils – Call Us for Inquiries
If you are looking for a trusted supplier of exceptional flavored, infused or fused olive oils, let us service your needs. CIBARIA International is a trusted and reliable choice for many businesses in the US.
Call us for a free consult and to have any of your questions answered.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our customer service department at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (951) 823-8490
Tags: flavored olive oil, fused olive oil, infused olive oil, extra virgin olive oil