We’re counting down the days until our harvest begins. With that in mind, we’ll turn our attention to the second of three olives we grow in northern California, Arbosana, after focusing on the Arbequina olive last week. The Arobosana olive produces a medium-robust oil that’s great with chocolate – think olive oil chocolate mousse. It’s also good drizzled on soups or on bruschetta rubbed with garlic.
As for taste, the Arbosana oil we bottle has a floral, herbaceous and green fruit flavor profile.
Arbosana accounts for about 15 percent of the olives we cultivate, behind Arbequina (80 percent) and ahead of Koroneiki (5 percent).
The Arbosana olive, like the Arbequina olive, comes originally from Spain. And, like Arbequina, we use Arbosana to make an oil bearing the same name as the olive – just like Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, say, are crushed to make Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
We also blend Arbosana with other oils to create our Miller’s Blend and Rich & Robust oils. In the case of Miller’s Blend, the Arbosana contributes floral notes to the flavor profile. Occasionally, we’ll we use Arbosana to make our more delicate Everyday Fresh oil, which mainly is milled from Arbequina.
Our Arbosana oil has a “medium-intense” aroma level, slightly greater than Arbequina’s “medium” aroma. It also has a medium-intense level of bitterness, which is considered a positive attribute of extra virgin olive oil. And our Arbosana oil has a medium-intense pungency, or pepperiness, which also is an attribute.
The Arbosana tree yields a large crop of olives. The small, pale yellow Arbosana olive is a productive producer of olive oil.
It’s an olive that requires careful timing during harvest. If harvested too early, the Arbosana oil can carry a stringent flavor profile. This is where the communication between our farming operations team and the milling staff works well.
As a team, they select the best time to start the Arbosana harvest based on a perfect flavor profile. With this variety of olive, the importance of selecting just the right time to harvest the fruit is critical.
So far this year, our Arbosana has earned gold medals at the Terraolivo international competition in Israel as well as the Olivinus international competition in Argentina. It has also garnered awards here in California at the Yolo County Fair as well as competitions in Japan and China.
Next up: the Koroneiki olive.