Olio Nuovo: When to Decant (and "To Filter or Not To Filter?")

Olio Nuovo: When to Decant (and "To Filter or Not To Filter?")

Olio Nuovo: When to Decant (and "To Filter or Not To Filter?")

Because Olio Nuovo is bottled right after harvest with no filtering and minimal racking, the oil still naturally contains a lot of delicious olive particulates that slowly settle out to the bottom or stick to the sides of the glass over time. If left for too long, they can impart a doughy or flat flavor to the oil, so when you see that, it's best to decant - to pour off the clearer oil on top into a clean empty bottle. You can still use the cloudier oil from the bottom for cooking (just best not to splash it directly into a hot pan, as it can sputter).

If you purchased Olio Nuovo in November or December and haven't eaten it all up by mid March - it's a good time to get some fresh crusty bread and have at it - or to find a bottle to decant. If you purchased a 3L bag you won't be able to see inside, but it's best to decant into bottles at that point in the year (clean, DRY wine bottles work great, or save a few backup olive oil bottles for this kind of thing), being careful not to disturb the bottom layer too much. We also sell clean empty bottles here and bottle brushes here if you need them.

Which brings us to another, rather geeky olive oil matter that often comes up in the context of decanting olive oil:

To Filter or Not to Filter?!

This year, we have decided to start partially filtering the House Blend and Olio Santo olive oil that we put into 3L and 10Ls, to ensure an even longer shelf life and prolonged fresh flavor in these refill bulk sizes. Filtering has been a debate in the olive oil world for decades, but recent research shows that filtering preserves the antioxidant/polyphenol levels and overall flavor for MUCH longer: quality sustained over the scale of years with filtering compared months without! You do sacrifice some nuance in the flavor upfront, but those are the flavor dimensions that would fade the fastest anyway. We've been sampling and looking at data and we're convinced!

That said, we won't filter certain oils -- like most of the citrus and herb olive oils or classic olive oils with particularly distinct characteristics -- that would suffer too much loss in their more delicate and intentional flavors. There's no one-solution-fits-all and we like it that way. It means we can still really celebrate what's special and interesting.

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