Olive Oil Producer
Ciarlo Fruit and Nut, LLC is a small producer of extra virgin olive oils, located in northern Solano County, California, about half-way between the communities of Winters and Vacaville, in an area known as “The English Hills”. The top of the property is about 360 feet in elevation, in which we reap the benefits of heat inversion. Our trees rarely freeze in the winter months. We planted our first olive trees in 2005, with more trees planted three years later. Varieties planted on the back side of the property include Koroneiki, a Greek olive, and Arbosano, and Arbequina, both Spanish varieties.
In the spring of 2015, another variety of trees, Hojiblanca, was planted. In the spring of 2017, the final olives were added on the front of the property, Picual and more Hojiblanca. Both are Spanish varieties.
Our oil is laboratory tested by AgbioLab and certified with the California Olive Oil Council, which verifies that our oil is free from defects and is 100% Extra Virgin olive oil, meeting COOC standards.
The oils are allowed to settle for several months before bottling to minimize sediment in the bottle. We bottle in dark glass to prevent light degradation. Each bottle is topped off with a shot of Argon, an inert gas, further protecting the oil from Oxygen degradation. Our Extra Virgin Olive Oils are wonderful as a final finish when drizzled over roasted vegetables or meats, especially fish. Use in salad dressings, as a dipping for bread, or drizzled over freshly-cooked pasta, tossing in crushed red pepper, chopped fresh parsley, minced garlic, fresh lemon juice, to suit your own personal taste. Try the oils over rich vanilla ice cream, for a fast and impressive dessert.
There are a variety of stone fruit trees on the property, the fruit from which goes into making jams and jellies. In addition, we have several varieties of citrus fruit trees, the fruits of which are used in the production of jams, jellies, marmalades, and other preserves. We also have rhubarb plants, pomegranate, fig, and laurel bay trees.
We do our utmost to protect the fragile ecosystem that we have been provided. All table and food processing scraps are composted, which puts more nutrients back into the soil. We plant cover crops in the winter, which are mowed down in the spring and mulched back into the soil. We’ve installed 72 solar panels to minimize our carbon footprint and help to eliminate our reliance on the power grid. We irrigate the olive groves and fruit tree orchards from our own well.
Chocolate Mousse with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
Makes about 10 small portions (2 ounces) or 4 larger portions (6 ounces)
2 eggs, thoroughly beaten
3/4 cup whole milk
6 ounces good-quality semi-sweet dark chocolate (E. Guittard chocolate wafers are perfect)
3 tablespoons freshly brewed strong decaffeinated coffee (optional) (I use regular non-decaf)
1/4 cup finishing-quality olive oil, preferably an EVOO from Ciarlo Fruit and Nut)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Tiny pinch fine salt
Sea salt or grey lavender salt, to serve (Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
A couple of drops of Blood Orange Olive oil, to serve
Whisk the milk and eggs together, beating for at least a minute. Put in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Put a thermometer into the milk mixture and carefully heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 160°F. Take off the heat. Or better yet, heat over simmering water.
In another small, heavy saucepan, put the chocolate over low heat. (Break up the chocolate into shards, if not using small baking pieces.) Heat slowly, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted. Take off the heat and stir in the coffee, if using, and the olive oil.
Add the milk and egg mixture to a blender or food processor, along with the maple syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of fine salt. Blend to combine.
With the food processor or blender running, slowly pour in the chocolate, coffee, olive oil mixture and blend until well combined. The final mix will be frothy and smooth.
Fill four 6-ounce dishes or eight to ten smaller ramekins and put in the refrigerator to chill. Depending on the size and depth of the dish this mousse will take from a half hour to three hours to set.
Serve with a couple of drops of Blood Orange Olive Oil and a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top.
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com