Fused vs. Infused Olive Oil: What’s the Difference?@secolari
People have been cooking with olive oil since the 4th or 5th century BCE. In other words, it’s been a staple in Mediterranean cooking and world cuisine for thousands of years.
Since then, olive oil has evolved from its basic form. Now there’s extra virgin, cold-pressed, and refined. It even comes in enticing flavors like lemon and herb.
The trouble is, each bottle of flavored oil will say fused or infused olive oil. So, what’s the difference?
Read on to find out what separates these two types of olive oil, how they’re made, and the flavor benefits of both types.
The Key Difference Between Fused and Infused Olive Oil
Fused and infused olive oil are both types of flavored olive oils. That means they have a secondary flavor like lemon, garlic, rosemary, or basil. But, the process of adding that second flavor is what separates these two oils.
For fused oil, the maker mechanically presses the olives with the produce (fruit, herbs, or vegetables). The oil from the ripe olives mixes with the essential oils of the produce. In other words, the two flavors fuse together.
For infused oil, the maker adds the flavor after the olives are pressed. They can even infuse the oil after it’s bottled. Fruit peels, herbs, or vegetables steep in the oil and add their flavor over time.
Fused vs. Infused: The Production Process
In Italy, fused olive oils are called Agrumato oils. The word agrume means citrus in Italian. The traditional process involves mechanically cold-pressing ripe olives with fresh citrus. That’s why it’s known as the Agrumato Method.
Traditionally, Agrumato oils come in three flavors including lemon, orange, and tangerine. But, many makers have adapted the process to include fresh herbs or vegetables instead of the traditional citrus.
Fused oils require planning to make because the ripe olives and fresh produce have to be in the same place at the same time. The makers also need to press the oils within a few hours of the harvest.
Infusion is a much more relaxed process because makers can infuse olive oil at any time. In fact, you can even do it yourself at home.
Flavor Profile and Uses
Fused oil has a very intense flavor because the produce is actually a part of the finished product. That’s why they make great finishing oils.
Because it’s much more challenging to make, fused oil is usually more expensive. But, you’ll also be getting a very high-quality olive oil.
Infused oils offer a much more subtle flavor. That’s what makes them great for marinades or baking. The base olive oil isn’t always as high quality as it is with fused oils, but that’s what makes them more budget-friendly.
Expand Your Palate With a Flavored Olive Oil
Whether you’re enjoying it on a salad, with crusty bread, or drizzled on grilled meat, a flavored olive oil can transform your meal. Fused oils add bold flavor to any dish, while infused olive oil brings subtlety.
At Secolari, we only sell fused flavored oils so you’ll enjoy the richest and freshest flavors. Check out our complete selection of high-quality flavored olive oils today.