Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Flavor Intensity & Food Pairing Suggestions for Premium Mission Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Three Intensities?
While 100 years ago our estate was planted to a single variety - Mission olives - we absolutely have the pleasure of offering all three flavor intensities of robust, medium and delicate.
Each year, of course, has unique weather influences and time schedules for maturation of the olives but there are continuing patterns that we count upon when we harvest.

Darro monitors each stage of the olives' growth and will begin harvesting when it is likely they have developed both their oil and a nice stage of polyphenol levels.  As we harvest the polyphenol level of our oils - much current research is available on polyphenol cause and effect health benefits - are assessed at the lab and we either "go for it" full on harvesting or wait a few days longer and assess the next harvested oil.
With the appearance of a bell curve we find polyphenols:
          increasing, increasing, peak, decreasing, decreasing.

During our most recent harvest Darro found that our green olives reached a polyphenol peak with the third lab assessment.
Such an oil becomes our high-polyphenol robust:
          terms one finds usually go hand-in-hand.

Mid to late autumn have been good beginning periods to harvest our Mission robust oil.  And, each year one may count upon our California Mission Classic to be a robust oil.

Milling and tasting during the harvest season, it's usually early December when the green olive begin to turn partially pink.  With this we are expecting to come upon our medium intensity with its balance of early and later harvest flavors.  This medium intensity oil continues to have some very nice polyphenol levels. While the California Mission Gold requires a very special balance to hold its place as our medium, if offered, one may count on it as Darro has said that without that perfect balance he will just not release that intensity.

Holding off on harvesting as the olives ripen on the tree - turning red and then purple, soaking up the winter rains of late December or early January - the flavors mellow. With riper fruit aromas one may still count on respectable polyphenol level in our delicate California Mission Reserve.

In all of our oils we have a lot going on for creating these amazing oils: 100 year old mature trees, Mission variety, dry farmed and the attention to detail that Darro gives to all steps of growing and production.

Pairing Suggestions
ROBUST - California Mission Classic

Pairs well with strong & spicy dishes, heavy soups, pastas, casseroles and red meats.
MEDIUM - California Mission Gold 
Complements hearty flavors, most cheeses, whole grain foods and white meats or fresh water fish.
DELICATE - California Mission Reserve 
Brings subtle nuances in more delicate foods such as white fish, sea foods, white rice, delicate vegetables and mild cheeses.

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