This is a unique olive oil that’s got one of the most dedicated followings I’ve ever witnessed. We tracked it down years ago at the adamant insistence of Nancy Harmon Jenkins, one of the world’s most knowledgeable food folks, and it’s had a growing cadre of fans ever since.
Maussane is made using the old-fashioned Provençal fruité noir, or "black fruity" method. Instead of picking olives green and pressing immediately, Maussane is picked late, when the olives have ripened to near-black, and they are left to ferment a bit. They refer to the olives as "preserved." While many oils were pressed this way in the past, early picking and pressing is the norm today. This makes Maussane stand out. It has virtually none of the grassy bitterness that you may find in other oils. Incidentally, this method of processing results in an oil rated as "virgin," not "extra virgin." While oftentimes that can be an indication of lesser quality, in this case, it's simply a result of the particular way the oil is made.
A rich, golden nectar with a distinctive herbal character no other oil can match, it sings with an unequaled pitch in its range of high and low flavor notes. One of its devoted fans once told me, "If you love olives, you’ll want to marry this oil."
"Essential to aioli, soupe aux pistou, soupe de poissons, ratatouille and other [Provençal] dishes."
Ed Behr, Art of Eating
New York Times
"I’m completely hooked on [this] French olive oil... I do want to drizzle in on just about everything."
Clare, Arlington, MA
Salonenque, Grossane, Beruguette, Verdale, and Picholine olives
Buttery and silky flavors
The 2020 harvest has a bright, fruity olive smell. The flavor is like biting into a black olive with a full, buttery texture. There is a slight tickle of black pepper in the finish.
Note that this oil comes from the commune of Maussane-les-Alpilles in southern France. It's pressed by Moulin Jean-Marie Cornille, so that's the big name on the bottle. You'll find the word "Maussane" in smaller print near the bottom of the label.