Each year after the season’s milling is over, we start tasting the various batches of new oil and begin putting together our blends for the year. We always produce our MISTRAL and SIERRA flagship oils, aiming for the same award-winning flavor profiles and sufficient quantities for the growing demand for these, our Premium Extra Virgin oils. Then, we turn our attention to the Gold Series oils. We select a few distinctive barrels of pure, unblended oil from specific cultivars and microclimates of our orchard. With almost 20 different olive varieties to work with, there are many special flavors and varying intensities to choose from each year. Finally, we consider the SALÚTE, (pronounced suh-loot-tay) meaning “Good Health!” in Italian. It is the final blend made each year from our remaining batches of oil. Harvested and milled to the same exacting standards as all the rest of our oils, the flavor profile of the SALÚTE can change from year to year. This is our all-around oil that we offer in two larger sizes as our Economy oil, still organic, still certified extra virgin. You will never buy an inferior oil from Apollo.
This year there are five different Gold Series oils, available only on our website, www.apollooliveoil.com. In the next few newsletters we’re going to tell you more about each of these, starting here with the TAGGIASCA.
TAGGIASCA comes from Liguria, the Italian Riviera along the northwestern coast of Italy, and is known across the border in France as Niçoise. Unlike many other olive cultivars, TAGGIASCA is able to thrive in Liguria’s diverse microclimates from sea level up to 2000 ft elevation. More than that, the oil of TAGGIASCA is prized for it’s soft, fruity flavor, and is considered throughout Italy as one of the best olive oils. Amazingly, the ripe olives are so soft and mild it’s said they don’t need to be cured when used in cooking. (We’ll try that next harvest!)
TAGGIASCA does well in our orchard, flourishing at 1950 ft elevation, and producing an excellent, sweet oil that leaves a clean feeling palate. With a scent of cinnamon, flavors of sweet almond and arugula, TAGGIASCA is ideal raw, with fresh bread, mild foods, and creamy dishes.
Delicate intensity – Milled December 2014 – 375 ml
Certified Extra Virgin and Certified Organic
Free Fatty Acid: 0.25%
630 mg/Kg polyphenols + 165 mg/Kg tocopherols = 795 mg/Kg total antioxidants
Pesto sauce comes from Liguria, where the mild TAGGIASCA is considered THE oil for making pesto. If you want to prepare a real Pesto alla Genovese, here is the official Italian ‘Pesto alla Genovese’ recipe by the Consorzio del Pesto Genovese. Translated as follows by the Italy Magazine:
Ingredients: (Makes sauce for 600 g of pasta)
Genoese basil – 50 grams, preferably young and fresh.
Ligurian Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
Grated Cheese – 6 tablespoons of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP or Grana Padano DOP
and 2 tablespoons of Pecorino
Garlic – 2 cloves
Pine nuts – 1 tablespoon of nuts from the Mediterranean
Walnuts – (optional) 1 tablespoon may be substituted for pine nuts
Coarse Sea Salt – a few grains
Wash the basil in cold water and set aside to dry on a towel.
In the mortar, crush the cloves of garlic with a few grains of salt until the garlic has softened. Begin adding basil leaves (but don’t add all at once!)
The essential oils of basil are stored in the veins of the leaves. For the best taste, you must be careful not to tear or shear the leaves. Use a gentle circular motion, slowly crush the basil by moving the pestle around the edges of the mortar.
When you notice a bright green liquid being drawn from the leaves, it is time to add the pine nuts.
Once softened, add the cheeses, and finally the olive oil in a very thin stream.
Preparation should take place at room temperature and the sauce should be served immediately to avoid oxidation. So pour it over the pasta, possibly linguine or strozza preti, and enjoy!