The Ultimate Guide to Fused Olive Oil

Published on
April 15, 2024 at 10:10:42 PM PDT April 15, 2024 at 10:10:42 PM PDTth, April 15, 2024 at 10:10:42 PM PDT

With our mission at The Spice & Tea Exchange® being "creating & sharing the experience of a more flavorful life," flavor and quality is always at the forefront of what we do – and our new Artisan Extra Virgin Olive Oils are no exception.

The process of sourcing a quality gourmet olive oil involved learning about the flavoring process(es), examining the ins and outs of olive oil production, and sampling and cooking with some of the best Italian olive oils. Our findings are discussed below in this ultimate guide to fused olive oil.

From sourcing and extraction process to recipes and bread boards – this guide has you covered:

  • What is Cold Extracted Olive Oil?
  • What’s the Difference Between Infused Olive Oils & Fused Olive Oils?
  • How to Choose the Best Italian Olive Oils
  • Fused Olive Oil Flavors
  • How to Maximize Your Fused Olive Oil’s Flavor Potential
  • Suggested Uses & Fused Olive Oil Recipes
  • Where to Buy (Fused) Artisan Extra Virgin Olive Oils?

Your culinary game will never be the same after learning about olive oils and how to use them to enhance your dishes!

What is Cold-Extracted Olive Oil?

Cold extraction is a traditional process for making olive oil to maintain maximum flavor and fragrance. The process begins with careful selection and handling of the olives at the stage of peak ripeness, followed by washing and crushing in stone mills, and finally, cold pressing and centrifugal separation.

Cold extracted refers to virgin and extra virgin olive oils procured at a temperature not exceeding 80°F. This is done by percolation (filtration, separation) or centrifugation of olive paste.

Flavored Olive Oils:

What’s the Difference Between Infused Olive Oils & Fused Olive Oils?

Flavored olive oils are created by adding a flavoring component (in any manner or method) to an olive oil. These don’t always, but may, contain chemicals, additives, preservatives, and on rare occasion, even food coloring.

Both infused and fused olive oils are types of flavored olive oils. However, the main difference is how they are produced and how the flavor is added.

Infused olive oils are created with an infusion process involving a solvent such as oil, alcohol, or water. A select number of herbs, spices, fruits, etc., are used with the solvent to create a flavoring or essential oil. Once this is created and after the olive pressing, it is combined with the oil.

Fused olive oils are created by pressing ripe olives directly with the fresh ingredients, like chili pepper, leek, and basil. As a result, flavor is added and represented in its truest sense. The extraction of the ingredient’s natural oils directly into the olive oil, produces a rich and intensely flavored olive oil of higher quality that is noticeably different.

How to Choose the Best Italian Olive Oils

After extensive searching, we are thrilled to have partnered with Frantoio Galantino to bring you a custom line of 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oils from Italy.

The Galantino family have been masters of olive oil since 1926. They craft their olive oil using a centuries-old method of hand-skimming the small quantity (2 to 3 percent) of olive oil that naturally rises to the surface of olive paste after milling but before undergoing cold-pressing and centrifugal separation. They select only the best olives from their groves near Bari along the Adriatic coast, a region that produces more olives than anywhere else in the world.[1] Olives are hand-harvested the traditional way, by shaking the branches of olive trees so that the olives fall gently onto canvas traps.

The cold extraction process (discussed in more detail above) produces oil with maximum flavor and fragrance. The oil is then fused with fresh ingredients (also discussed above) to add flavor in its purest form, and packaged in tins to block out light, which can cause the oil to lose flavor and/or aroma.

Key takeaways for choosing the best Italian olive oils:

  • Select from an experienced grower, who hand-harvests, and follows the highest quality processing and testing procedures.
  • Opt for cold-pressed or cold-extracted (verses a process that uses heat or chemicals)
  • For truest flavor, choose fused over infused or simply flavored olive oils.
  • Look for oils stored in dark glass bottles or tins that keep light out.

1 The Galantino olive mill is located in the heart of Puglia at the gates of Bisceglie, a town of medieval origin overlooking the Adriatic Sea, 35 kilometers north of Bari, among churches, castles and vast expanses of olive trees.

Fused Olive Oil Flavors

Fused olive oils flavors come from any ingredient added while pressing the olives – such as an herb, fruit, vegetable, or spice. Our olive oils are available in 6 delicious varieties: Chili Pepper Olive Oil,Lemon Olive Oil, Leek Olive Oil, Orange Olive Oil, Oregano Olive Oil, and we also offer an 100% Pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

How to Maximize Your Fused Olive Oil’s Flavor Potential

Olive oil is a cooking staple in fine kitchens, but did you know it is also used as a finishing touch to add flavor, texture, and complexity to dishes? Similarly, sea salt is a natural flavor enhancer – a light sprinkle of artisan salt before serving boosts and intensifies ingredient flavors while also adding a pleasing soft crunch and exciting visual appeal.

Just like a pat of butter on a pancake, a finishing drizzle of one of our exclusive, fused extra virgin olive oils paired with a sprinkle of complementing sea salt can be a game-changer for grilled meat or fish, roasted vegetables, potatoes, and more.

When using fine oils and salts to finish a dish, think of them as a condiment – a little goes a long way. A drizzle & sprinkle will lend level-up flavor and texture to salads, pasta, pizza, vegetables, and meats – especially grilled ones. You can even enhance cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, and ice cream!

While the possibilities are endless – below are some suggested combinations to get you started. What foods to put them on? Fear not; recommendations are listed on our individual bottles of olive oil.

Suggested Uses & Fused Olive Oil Recipes

Fused olive oils are delicious on salads, bruschetta, vegetables, pizza, and more. They can also be paired with a spice blend or sea salt and used for bread dipping.

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Pour over hummus
  • Serve on an appetizer bread board for dipping (& topped with spice blends for additional flavor)
  • Toss in a tomato & mozzarella salad or pasta
  • Garnish soups and stews
  • Make an olive oil cake
  • Drizzle (citrus flavored oil) over ice cream or soft cheeses

SHOP New Artisan Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Find a The Spice & Tea Exchange® location near you to see the >>fused olive oils collection<<. Or click here to shop the fused olive oils collectiononline.