` From France, an Olive Oil with Yuzu - Olive Oil Times

From France, an Olive Oil with Yuzu

May. 26, 2015
Alice Alech

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Through their mutual pas­sion for olive oil, their sense of cre­ativ­ity and love of good food, two olive oil enthu­si­asts — one an owner pro­ducer of an estab­lished olive oil mill, the other, chef-owner of one of the world’s best restau­rants — have devel­oped an olive oil made with yuzu fruit.

This new cit­rus fruit started mak­ing news only about 8 years ago. Yuzu is hard to grow, expen­sive and rare, but it thrives in Menton, the most east­ern town on the French-Italian bor­der. Gourmets say yuzu tastes like a cross between a lemon, man­darin and grape­fruit and nutri­tion­ists say it has three times more vit­a­min C.

Karim Djekhar, the owner of Huillerie St. Michel, and Michelin star-awarded Mauro Colagreco are not novices in olive oil mat­ters: Djekhar has been mak­ing olive oil for over 20 years and together they have been mak­ing oils with cit­rus fruit since 2009 in Menton.

The say that their yuzu olive oil, called Chef’s Olive Oil with Yuzu,’ is much more sub­tle, very different.

Djekhar said: We pick the fruit when it’s ripe and mac­er­ate the whole fruit in extra vir­gin olive oil for about a month. We aim for a fruity oil but most impor­tant it must not have an over dom­i­nant cit­rus taste; the mix must be sub­tly con­trolled to get that unique fla­vor — that mix of cit­rus fruits, spicy with hints of man­darin so exotic, it makes you want to travel to far away places.”

Yuzu

Obtaining yuzu is not dif­fi­cult when you live in Menton. The excep­tional micro­cli­mate in this coastal city is per­fect for grow­ing cit­rus fruit prod­ucts; they even hold an annual lemon fes­ti­val called La fête du Citron.

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Mauro Colagreco is admired for his focus on the qual­ity of his ingre­di­ents, using only the best and fresh­est of prod­ucts. He uses his yuzu olive oil at all of his restau­rants — The Mirazur, his ele­gant restau­rant in Menton, one in Paris and two in China.

I first dis­cov­ered yuzu in Japan, and have been includ­ing it my cook­ing since then. We are the only ones mak­ing and using yuzu olive oil in France. We are lucky to have our very own sup­plier here in Menton,” he enthused.

Originally from Argentine, Colagreco has worked with the best top French chefs. He was voted top new­comer in 2006 by the influ­en­tial Gault Millau Guide and 8 years later Le Mirazur was rated 11th in the San Pellegrino best restau­rant list of 2014.

Djekhar said: Olive oil is part of our her­itage but what we are aim­ing for is to add a cre­ative touch to our tra­di­tional cui­sine. What mat­ters most for every­body is the end prod­uct; we want fan­tas­tic fab­u­lous food both in restau­rants and at home in our own kitchens.”



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