The Story of Olio Nuovo: The first olive oil off the press each year has a pungent, fruity and rustic character. It long has been a tradition in Italy to celebrate this new olive oil each year. In Northern Italy it is referred to as olio nuovo, in Southern Italy as olio novello, and here at KATZ we refer to it as December's New Oil. It's the first expression of the olive harvest, and while the time to savor it is fleeting, it is oh so enjoyable. Oil at this stage is still rich with suspended particles of chlorophyll-laden olives that give it a bold, green color, a truly unctuous texture, and an intense flavor.
The oil begins to settle out as soon as it is pressed, but it won't be until we are into the new year - around two months after bottling - that much of the explosive flavor will mellow and mature, allowing for a more stable and long lasting oil. But then again, no one buys our December's New Oil to let it sit on the shelf…they buy it to enjoy the heightened color and flavor in some simple but traditional ways…a good loaf of rustic bread, sliced and grilled, then slathered with KATZ Organic December's New Oil and lightly sprinkled with a pinch of good salt – this is always our first taste - as it is in Italy with olio nuovo and olio novello.
December's New Oil:
40% Leccino (provides a nice, floral and spice quality and an "unctuousness" to the oil)
60% Frantoio & Maurino (more classic "Tuscan" flavors of artichoke, herbs and a grassiness with pungency and verve!)
The goal is to highlight the rustic charm of the new oil with a few simple ingredients, and there is no end to the number of ways you can showcase its amazing flavor. Poached eggs over toast, a hearty lentil soup with some fresh kale or chard, creamy polenta with a with a simply roasted chicken or duck, and grilled fish all finished with a liberal drizzle of December's New Oil...Bravo!