Jan. 13: Black, mature or green flavours...

Work in progress - Olives & Oils

There are three main families of olive oils.To start with the "fruité vert" (green flavour family) characterised by: "the mixture of smells specific to the oil recalling green fruit, depending on the variety of olive, coming from fine fruit which is not yet ripe and smelled at the fore of the nose and/or at the back of the nose.The aromas will therefore be reminiscent of artichoke, grass, apple, green banana, etc....The "fruité mûr" (mature family) is characterised by aromas coming from riper and softer fruit. The ranges of aromas of this type are of fresh walnuts, ripe banana, red fruits or jams...Finally the "fruité noir" (black flavour family) will be noticeable when the olives have been stored for a certain period of time between gathering and going to the press during which a light fermentation has taken place in the fruit which softens the harsh flavour and bitterness in the oil. One will detect aromas of cocoa, dried fruits, dry hay, and undergrowth. The oil is then called "chômé".This wide choice of different oils is a great treasure.Unfortunately, however, according to European regulations the "chômé" type is sub-standard and excludes these oils from being classed as "huile d'olive vierge extra" (extra virgin olive oil).We then get to this incongruous situation whereby certain (excellent) oils with certain "chômé" aromas (for example in the case of the AOC Vallée des Baux) have no right to be classified as extra virgin olive oil due to a European regulation.Why should we forgo certain types of produce for the sake of standard-setting?What would have become of the "vins jaunes", Sauternes, Banuyls et al with such reasoning?Europeanisation has advanced progress in certain areas, it can be argued, but in this case demonstrates a very sorry facet of norm-setting.

Jan. 13: Black, mature or green flavours...
Jan. 13: Black, mature or green flavours...

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