In the French region of Provence, there is an ancient tradition called “Coufi”, which consists of aging olives before extracting their oil.
As we all know nowadays, one of the unquestionable rules to get a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is to take the olives to the oil press immediately after their collection, however for Coufi, olives have to be remained in an environment that has nothing to do with the optimum to obtain the EVOO, they must be stored in a warm place for the fermentation of the fruit to take place.
But where does this technique come from? This technique is not coincidental and it also does not arise itself as a novelty, but as a necessity. Just like the rest of producer countries, until the arrival of mechanization in olive cultivation, the collection was carried out by families, who, in addition of not having their main livelihood in it, they could not deliver their olives to the oil press until there was a certain number of completed kilograms, joining their production to the rest of the families.
Olives trees in the Provence
This fruit storage over a period of several days, it produced oxidations and fermentations of different kinds. However, all these problems were not appreciated in the same way and looking for a lesser evil, the olive growers realized that facing the rancid flavors that were generated in the fruits which were in the superficial parts of the piles, the flavors generated by the anaerobic fermentation of the fruits which were in the center, they could be compared to the fermentations generated in the wine manufacture.
Fruité Noir Virgin Olive Oil “Castelines”
These oils are usually very mild in flavor, with a lack of bitter and intense spices, and they also use to have a characteristic taste of black olive, slightly truffle and like mushroom.
In the past, they were low-valued outside of Provence, since they were very irregular and many parties were characterized by rancid flavors, to mold and even to rot. However, others had a great taste that matched the most delicate recipes of the Provencal cuisine.
This is why, the tradition has been recovered, but improved thanks to the new advances and technologies to guarantee oils with black fruitiness without any unpleasant taste.
A temperate goat cheese salad is perfect for the “fruité Noir”
Its culinary use is perfect in salads, accompanied by a temperate goat cheese, in desserts, pizza with anchovies and black olives and an endless recipes of the Provencal cuisine.