When I first took a whiff of American Olive Farmer Olio Novello my senses were filled. Fresh artichokes, nutty almonds, wheatgrass and fresh aromatic herbs are immediately immersive. This fresh early harvest, unfiltered olive oil is a stunning blend of Arbequina and Ascolana that is amply peppery and vibrant. Chewy and rich, creamy and viscous, it is present as it is as much as it’s hard to distinguish induvial tasting notes.
The natural sediment that is present in this Novello, a classic trait of these oils, makes the flavour profile a little foggy – filtering, which removes any remaining sediment not only clarifies the oil, it also clarifies the tasting notes making the oil crips and distinctive, and extends the shelf life. Novellos are that first, fresh taste of the season, yet the sediment that makes them so delicious, also compromises the shelf life, reducing it to upwards of 6 months from harvest. Novello oil is incredibly special, but please please don’t save them for a special occasion. Every day is a special occasion when a Novello is on the counter, especially this delightful example from American Olive Farmer.
This specific example I do love served over soft-ripened cheese, triple cream, burrata or even mild goat cheese, as the richness in the cheese and the oil are a perfect pair. Drizzle over hot morning toast, topped with smashed avocado and cherry tomatoes. Pairing California citrus is also a delight, I use this American Olive Farmer Olio Novello in a veggie-forward Blood Orange Couscous Salad, which is an ultimate winter favourite.