OLYFO Extra virgin olive oil is characterised with the signature flavor of Tunisian olives, cultivated and grown with care on centenary trees soaked in Mediterranean sunshine.
And while it is a trusty choice for finishing up your pastas, thickening vinaigrettes, marinating proteins or enjoying it as is with crusty artisan bread: its taste can be elevated by using a simple technique that is well-loved by chefs and home-cooks alike: Infusion.
There are two main ways to go about elevating the flavors of your extra virgin olive oil: Hot or cold infusion.
The hot method is best suited for harder herbs and dried ingredients such as rosemary and dried chillies. It is important to not overheat the oil: The aim is to steep the flavorings, not burn them. A thermometer is recommended for ideal results.
The cold method is used with tender herbs and fresh ingredients that are mixed with the olive oil and left to infuse for a few days. Remember that the longer the soaking period, the stronger the flavor.
As for the actual flavors themselves, there really is no limit to how creative you can be! We will be showing you three flavors: Peppercorn, lemon and basil. But truly, the world is your olive orchard, so to speak! So, do not be afraid of mixing flavors and creating your own custom blend.
As for the type of extra virgin olive oil, it will depend on what your flavors of choice are. If you are infusing strong flavors like chili or garlic, look for an olive oil with a mild, sweet taste.
In terms of the herbs, combinations are also welcome: Rosemary and thyme are a classic, but feel free to riff off your favorite mixes that cater to your needs and cooking habits.
It may seem intimidating, but infusing olive oil – or any oil for that matter, is rather straightforward. However, some precautions need to be taken.
First, take good care to use sterilized jars for storage. In order to do this, wash the containers thoroughly and boil them in water for about 10 minutes and allow them to dry all the way.
After bottling, the process is halfway done. Be sure to allow the infused olive oil to cool down to room temperature before labeling with the confection date and flavor chosen, and storing.
Because fresh flavorings such as vegetables, peels or fresh herbs contain water, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. As such, it is very important to make sure that they have been thoroughly dried out, preferably overnight. While the bacteria cannot grow in the oil itself, it can proliferate because of the traces of water left behind.
To dry out peels and fresh herbs, spread on a tray and place in a 100°C oven for 2 hours.
Dry ingredients such as spices and dried herbs can be used directly.
As for storage and use, we advise you to store in clean and thoroughly dried glass containers with hermetic seals in the refrigerator or on the counter away from direct sunlight, and to use them within 2 weeks. Flavors should start developing within a few days.
A good practice would be to monitor the flavor development every day and remove the chillies, peppercorns, vegetables or peels when the depth of flavor is to your liking.
As for the usage, you can use your infused extra virgin olive oil in your next salad dressing, meat marinade or roast vegetables. Can also be used as a finishing to pasta, fried eggs or stir-fries.
Now you have all the tools and knowledge to make your own infused extra virgin olive oil using our OLYFO brands “2500 Years of Tradition”, “Ifriqiya” or “Al Atika”. Learn more about them on our website and contact us.