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If you’re a chocolate lover - like I am - then you’ll like the Arbosana olive. The medium-robust oil it produces pairs beautifully with chocolate. Think of using Arbosana in an olive oil chocolate mousse - or drizzling some over your favorite chocolate ice cream along with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.

Arbosana Artois

Last week I took a close-up look at the Arbequina olive, one of three olive varietals we grow in northern California. Now it’s time to put Arbosana in the spotlight. Like Arbequina, the small Arbosana olive hails originally from Spain. But it delivers a more robust flavored olive oil – one that pairs well with everything from biscotti to bruschetta.

Arbosana is our No. 2 olive - behind Arbequina. It accounts for 20% of the olives we grow.

The green Arbosana olive may be small, but it’s a productive producer of olive oil. It typically begins producing olives after two years but the true volume occurs on its third season in the ground.

Our Arbosana olive oil is more complex, robust tasting with a floral finish; right at the end of the tasting process you get an incredible fruity/floral aspect to this oil.

For me, Arbosana oil is so special with its grassy, herbaceous and green fruit flavor profile.

If harvested to early the Arbosana oil can carry a stringent flavor profile; this is where the communication between our farming operations team and the milling staff really works well. As a team we select the best time to start the Arbosana harvest based on perfect flavor profile. With this variety of olive the importance of selecting just the right time to harvest the fruit is critical.

Good timing is critical to having a well balanced oil. If you’re too early, the flavors are too green and robust. That being said, the 2012 Arbosana is one of our more distinctive oils from last fall’s harvest. I’m particularly proud of it because it captured a Gold at this year’s California Olive Oil Council competition and has been winning many other awards in international olive oil competitions.

At California Olive Ranch, we like to drizzle our Arbosana on good crusty bread that’s toasted or grilled. We like it drizzled on soup, or a grilled ribeye steak. And, as I noted, we use our Arbosana oil for all things chocolate. It’s also good in almond biscotti.

Next up: the Koroneiki olive.

Bon appétit,

California Olive Ranch Master Miller Bob Singletary

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