What’s so special about Batistini Farms’ olive oil?
We offer authentic, superior, and award winning extra virgin directly from the olives. Did you know it takes approximately 10 - 16 pounds of olives to make 1 liter of olive oil? Many hours of labors take place through pruning, harvesting and production. Olives are hand selected and pressed within less than 24 hours of harvest. Our olive cultivars play a role in a distinct fruity taste. Our olives are cold extracted. We know what it means to be called a superior extra virgin olive oil and we don't take that lightly.
Our savory extra virgin olive oils have distinguished organoleptic properties. A fresh and smooth taste comes from the scrupulous attention given to the olives in the mineral rich farmlands of Italy. The olives are grown naturally and sustainably, with careful selection during harvest. Assiduous attention is carried out to ensure our organic options meet strict certification guidelines. It continues through harvest and production. Traditional methods handed down for generations, melded with an exceptional quality of production, help us deliver from the olive tree to the table.
Are olives a fruit or a vegetable?
An olive is a fruit, and it is called a drupe. They grow on trees. Olive trees have been cultivated for many centuries. When fresh olives are hand picked from the olive trees, they are very bitter.
How do you identify a good extra virgin olive oil?
COLOR: Golden Yellow/Green
ODOR: Distinct notes of olive with notes of grass, almond, herbs . . .
TASTE: Fruity (exhibits fresh olive), Bitter, Spicy
A good extra virgin olive oil should at least exhibit fruitiness. The odor and taste should remind you of the fresh olive picked at the optimum state of ripeness. It can also remind you of unripe fruit; like a green tomato. It should smell and taste like a fresh produce whether it is picked perfectly ripe or unripe. The fruitiness will also help determine the culinary uses, such as, pairings. Olive varietals and the stage of ripeness contribute the taste (mild, robust or somewhere in between). You might prefer a mild tasting olive oil or something more robust or peppery.
Your taste and smell senses play a key role. "Harvest" and "Best by" dates help. Dark glass bottles are preferred over clear or plastic ones to protect the oil from light and help maintain freshness. Treasure bitterness!
What is that tingling sensation?
Some people get surprised at the peppery or tingling sensation experienced when they are tasting a good extra virgin olive oil for the first time. Olive oil aficionados may jump quickly to explain the brief peppery or tingling sensation often noticed at the back of your throat upon consumption is an inherent characteristic of fresh oil containing beneficial compounds like polyphenols that are known for antioxidant properties. The tingling sensation may also be contributed to Oleocanthal as described in the following link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23723556.2015.1006077#.VnC3VzZh3KI
What is extra virgin olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality of olive oil, obtained solely from the fruit of the olive tree, and solely by mechanical means that do not lead to any alterations in the oil. The production method is simply pressing the olives without solvents. The olives are washed and later go through decantation or a centrifuge, which separates the oil from the water. Extra virgin olive oil should have a superior taste. The free acidity, oleic acid, must be no more than 0.8% acidity, making it low acidity at less than 1%. Batistini Farms extra virgin olive oil is usually bottled at less than half of that, usually 0.2% - 0.3% acidity.
Are all extra virgin olive oils the same?
No. It’s unfortunate that many shortcuts are taken to deliver an “extra virgin” label.
What ingredients do you use in your 100% extra virgin olive oil?
Can flavor olive oils be extra virgin?
Tricky question. When fruit or other herbs are crushed together with the olives, then it is no longer only the juice of the olive, but has been combined with the natural aromas of the fruit or herbs. Our olive oil with flavor, such as, wild naturally grown herbs or fruit are only olives with a hint of nature’s harvest. Try them for an easy and wonderful dressing for your favorite dish.
What is cold extracted?
Cold extracted oils should be pressed under 27° C (80.6° F). The “cold extraction” and “exclusion of chemicals” is important to avoid alterations in the oil. In addition, only olives should be used in extra virgin olive oil.
How is olive oil produced?
In Italy, the primary harvest months are usually October, November, December and January, but can also start in September. The olives should be taken to the mill within 24 hours to be cold extracted for the oil. The olives are crushed by a heavy force of several hundred pounds. This physical force causes oil and water to seep out. It drips into the collection vats. The oil settles and the water may be removed by decantation or centrifuge.
What is robust olive oil?
Robust olive oil is more bitter and pungent (peppery), like a fresh olive picked from the olive tree. The aroma and taste may have herbal notes. Foods with bold flavors like meats, poultry, and soups make a nice compliment for the robust.
What is the shelf life of olive oil and how do I store it?
A good quality extra virgin olive oil should have a shelf life up to 2 - 3 years from the bottling date if properly stored. The oxidation process takes place once the bottle is opened. Always tightly secure to reduce and prevent oxidation. Store in a cool dark place, away from light and heat. The oil should be consumed within a couple of months once it it opened.
Keep stored properly for freshness.
What is the difference between filtered and unfiltered?
Extra virgin olive oil can be filtered or unfiltered. Filtration is just a step to remove the sediments that make the olive oil cloudy. Some olive oil enthusiast prefer filtered olive oil, because it is more aesthetically pleasing, they believe the shelf life is also extended. Others believe the cloudy unfiltered oil has more flavor from the olive particles. Some experts will tell you there’s no difference, and it probably comes down to personal preference.
What’s so special about Batistini Farms’ dark balsamic vinegars?
Each batch is handcrafted using the old traditions, recipes, and mastery involvement of family members of highly skilled artisans in Modena, Italy. Strict consortium guidelines are followed and monitored. The wine grapes are grown in the region and cooked grape must is the most important ingredient but that does not mean a cooked grape must equals a good balsamic. Each handcrafted batch is a “masterpiece” of art meeting demands of ones desiring a higher quality including some James Beard chefs. The grapes, recipes, types of casks, tending to the casks, and the artistry of the artisans all play an important role in the outcome of the Batistini Farms balsamic vinegars made with seven varieties of regional grapes like Trebbiano and Lambrusco. Modena's climate is also key to the fermentation and maturation of the grape must as a result of stark changes in temperatures from scorching summers to freezing winters assisting in additional reduction by fermentation in barrels of various wood species.
The bouquet should be pleasant, delicate, a bit acidic, with woody notes finished by a bittersweet but balanced flavor.
Balsamic vinegar is bittersweet with complex flavors.
How is wood barrel aged balsamic vinegar produced?
It starts with the hand picked grapes during harvest months beginning in September. Quality is important. Grape must is the result of fresh, pressed, crushed grapes (juice, skins, pips). The skins and pips are separated before the grape must is reduced by 30 – 50%. This involves skillful cooking over open flame in vats for about 24 – 30 hours. The process must be slow to retain the fresh grape flavors during the reduction. They must go through a natural fermentation and acetification process that continues to reduce the must. The recipe is placed in wood barrels of decreasing sizes, allowing space in the barrel. Each barrel has a thin, translucent fabric covering an opening to allow natural reduction by evaporation. A transfer of grape must into smaller barrels made of various wood species occurs each year during the aging process. The aromas of the woods like oak, chestnut, cherry, mulberry, and juniper are absorbed during this part of the fermentation.
Experience of the trade comes to play since the rules vary among artisans and the accomplished taster.
So many choices, how do I choose?
Taste plays an important role. The production of a high quality balsamic vinegar embraces a special artistry, a reduction of grape must, and slow fermentation in wood barrels with a variety of wood species to achieve the organoleptic properties. Each step is monitored with strict guidelines. Not all vinegars marked “Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” or “Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia” are created equal. Batistini Farms offers high quality balsamic vinegar whether it is a pricey traditional or more affordable for everyday use.
The climate in the region is believed to play an important role in the fermentation and maturation of the grape must due to stark changes in temperatures, from their scorching summers to freezing winters. Environmental conditions, the grapes, the recipes, the types of casks used, the tending to the casks, and the artistry of the artisans all play an important role in the outcome of Batistini Farms balsamic vinegars. The bouquet should be pleasant, delicate, a bit acidic, with woody notes finished by a bittersweet but balanced flavor.
Our most popular balsamic vinegars are made naturally for everyday use with emphasis on a traditional methods meeting strict guidelines for a more affordable high quality balsamic vinegars. Batistini Farms offers a pricey traditional balsamic vinegar. Our traditional dark balsamic vinegar is made with 100% cooked grape must , grapes from the region (such as Trebbiano, Lambrusco, Montuni) that are slow cooked to reduce the must, and fermentation by aging in woods barrels of varying sizes. The testing is monitored closely by each artisan under strict guidelines. Our most popular high quality balsamic vinegars are a beacon of the traditional balsamic vinegar made naturally for everyday use. Heirloom traditions are followed while meeting strict guidelines. The early stages begin by cooking the must to a reduction, and a hint or small percentage of a vintner’s vinegar from the acetification of wine (a natural fermentation). “Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” is found at very expensive prices on a limited basis made with 100% cooked grape must, typically Trebbiano, but other regional wine grapes may be used. 100% cooked grape must doesn’t always conclude a good balsamic. In addition to region grapes, there are a variety of levels of quality that include an artistry involving complexity. The entire process undergoes strict supervision by the Consortium. Once it is approved, it is bottled in a distinctive 3.4 ounce, 100 ml, glass bulb shaped bottle at the Consortium, and marked with special seals including a hologram.
Hints: There are many commercial options on the shelves that start with wine vinegar as a first ingredient. This means you should be getting more of a wine vinegar. Some ingredients may read, “balsamic vinegar” but how will you know the ingredients used to make the “balsamic vinegar” if they are not listed.
Does price make a difference?
It’s like art. The masterpiece usually cost more than the copy, however, collectors have unknowingly purchased a copy at the price of a masterpiece. Distinguish a difference in taste and quality, and also review the ingredients.
What is a balsamic “condiment” ?
“Condiment” is expressed as “Condimento” in Italian. It is often used for balsamic vinegar that does not quite fit the rigorous standards to be called a balsamic vinegar. For example, the acidity must be 6% to be called a balsamic vinegar in Modena but a vinegar in the USA is a minimum of 4% acidity at the time of this posting. In addition, maturity could have missed the minimum years required to be named a "Traditional" balsamic vinegar. It may also have a small percentage of wine vinegar instead of 100% cooked grape must, or perhaps the designated supervision was not completely met. Always look at the ingredients for an indication of quality since condiments come in a variety of grades.
What about the white balsamic?
The story is told that it became popular in more recent times as chefs requested a balsamic that keeps the transparency of their dish. Our Batistini Farms dark balsamic vinegars will have cooked grape must as the first ingredient, but the must becomes darker as it is cooked. Another alternative to keep the white balsamic as transparent as possible is to refrain from the cooking reduction like our Batistini Farms Vanishing Grape white balsamic vinegar of Modena, Italy by reducing through concentration of the grapes to a must.
Does thick mean better?
Taste is the most notable quality, although density plays an important role. Color, acidity, viscosity, type of grapes, ingredients, recipes, harvest, and other production skills of the Modena artisans all play a role in the outcome of the balsamic vinegar. Be cautious of the sugary dense balsamic made with caramel and added thickeners lacking the harmonious symphony of complex flavors and sweetness of a more sophisticated palate.
What is a balsamic glaze?
Balsamic vinegars can have density but there are also glazes for culinary uses. A balsamic glaze was introduced to give chefs options for an elaborate decoration on a plate. Check the ingredients since many glazes usually have a bit of color (caramel), cornstarch, and sugar added.