Artisan Olive Oil Company wins 7 Great Taste Awards 2020

Artisan Olive Oil Company wins 7 Great Taste Awards 2020

For its 2020 edition of the Great Taste Awards, we are delighted to have won 7 new recognitions together with our partners.

1. Due Vittorie Apple Vinegar: won 3 Great Taste stars (won by less than 2% of the participants in the competition). Here are some of the judges’ comments: "Beautiful, deep golden vinegar. The aroma is of bittersweet apples. The taste.....wow, the taste. We had to check that there wasn't honey in the ingredients such was the level of sweetness that married perfectly with the acetic, rich, caramel balsamic. The viscosity is that of a darker, older balsamic...the length is unwavering in its balanced purity....What a corker. An aroma of fine old wood furniture and a cellar filled with barrels draws you in. The flavour is both fruity and sharp, beautifully crafted and perfectly balanced. We could drink this product as it is. Quite delicious. There is a roundness and sweetness that harmonises with the acetic tang. This is made by someone who really knows what they are doing. What a pleasure to taste this. Glorious....Caramel and rich in appearance, beautifully clear. A prominent cooked apple aroma. WOW! what a delicious vinegar - sweet “caramelly” notes balanced by the sharp vinegar. Still very much an apple cider vinegar but does have some of the character of a balsamic, which the method of production obviously has created.

2. Oro Bailen Arbequina extra virgin olive oil: won 2 Great Taste stars. The Great Taste judges mentioned :” There is a great deal of character to this oil whilst still being gentle.”

 3. Oro Bailen Frantoio extra virgin olive oil: won 1 Great Taste star. Commenting on Oro Bailed Frantoio, the Great Taste judges mentioned “beautiful, deep, green gold oil with a sparkling clear appearance and aromas of warm freshly cut, sweet meadow hay. On the palate it is rich, smooth and creamily textured, fresh-tasting with notes of tomato leaf and bitter herb, followed by a vigorous, spicy pepper impact hitting the senses. High levels of lasting peppery heat, a certain pungency and a vegetal bitterness populate the finish. A gold-green oil with apple and wild rocket intensity on the nose.”

 4. Oro Bailen Hojiblanca extra virgin olive oil: won 1 Great Taste star. Commenting on Oro Bailen Hojiblanca, the Great Taste judges ...” What an exquisite colour of golden green, perfectly clear. The aroma of freshly cut grass also has elements of cold buttered artichokes and green bananas. The mouthfeel and texture are silky smooth with a fresh young olive fruitiness, a little bitterness midpalate, and a warm and reassuring pepperiness on the finish….Vibrant in colour with a grassy, citrus nose. Peppery, meadowy and fruity in taste.”

 5. Moulins Mahjoub organic hand-rolled wholewheat m'hamsa: won 1 Great Taste star. The judges found : "There was also an array of nutty flavours here that ranged from walnut to hazelnut which we enjoyed"

 6. Moulins Mahjoub organic Tunisian shakshuka: won 1 Great Taste star. "This tastes homemade and without any taint from being jarred" said a judge.

7. Moulins Mahjoub organic artisan sauce with black olives and artichokes: won 1 Great Taste star. The judges commented on its "Wonderful vibrant colour with fabulous fresh aroma. A true smell of the Med. The flavour from the olives and artichokes is outstanding. All the ingredients are bringing an amazing fresh zing."

The Artisan Olive Oil Company is a London based importer, distributor and wholesaler serving independent, speciality and organic stores as well as department stores across the UK.

How to buy the best balsamic vinegars in the UK?

How to buy the best balsamic vinegars in the UK?

 

The high street is full of products with the word balsamic, from glazes to 100 year old balsamic vinegars which range from £2 to £200. To better understand what drives price and quality of balsamic vinegar, it is important to understand its provenance and production process.

Provenance

Balsamic vinegar is produced in the province of Modena in the North of Italy in small quantities and through a long aging process. The consortium of Italian balsamic vinegar producers has set a very detailed set of rules and parameters which need to be follow in order to obtain their stamp of approval. This includes the use of local wine grapes such as Lambrusco and Trebbiano. Balsamic vinegar is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO or DOP in Italian) which confirms its provenance. Traditional balsamic vinegar bottles also contain a numbered seal which allows to trace the origin of the product and monitor production volumes which tend to be very small.   

Taste and aroma

Balsamic vinegar has a dark colour, a dense syrupy texture, a complex aromatic profile often referred to as the bouquet and a balanced sweet-sour taste.

Production

The pressing and cooking of the grape must happens at the same time. It is subsequently cooked in an open recipient for several hours to start the concentration process. This leads to the aging process which takes places in wood barrels of decreasing sizes, starting from the largest one initially and ending with the smallest which will be used to extract a small quantity of balsamic vinegar. 12 to 25 years are necessary for the product to reach the appropriate profile to qualify for the DOP certification. As a rule of thumb, only about 10% of the liquid remains after 25 years and this is one of the main drivers of the price of aged balsamic vinegars.

 

Food pairings

The 12 year-old balsamic vinegar is referred to as "traditionale" and is best suited for warm dishes such as a caponata, risotto, salads vegetables or ice cream and strawberries. The 25 year-old balsamic vinegar referred to as "extra vecchio" is ideal on parmigiano reggiano, meat and fish dishes. In all cases, only a few drops may be sufficient to enhance your dish.

 

A popular Christmas gift

Similarly to fine wines, aged balsamic vinegars, through its complex and long production process, has naturally become a popular Christmas present. A product which used to be confined to the Italian aristocracy has become more democratised. Its shelf life also means that it can be enjoyed over a long period of time with friends and family and used as a rare ingredient for those special occasions.

 

November 05, 2020 — Admin account