Is ‘Novello’ really that special?

Autumn means time to harvest! Also the olives of il circolo are ready to be picked. This season a special edition of olive oil appears in specialist shops under the name ‘Novello’. What is it and what is so special about it?

‘Novello’: what is it?

‘Novello’ is a term reserved for a light, fruity red wine produced in Italy, and is similar to the French Beaujolais Nouveau. It is therefore not really correct that the term ‘Novello’ is used for olive oil.
There is no point in seeking an official definition for Novello olive oil. It is outside the rules that define the characteristics of the various types of olive oil. ‘Novello’ is also known as ‘Olio Nuovo’ – which is Italian for new oil. In practice, ‘Novello’ is actually produced in the same way as ‘extra virgin’ olive oil, which has an acidity level of no more than 0.8% according to legal provisions. Young olives are also used for this purpose, as virgin olive oil has a lower acidity than oil from more mature olives. Unfortunately, olives yield less oil at the beginning of the harvest season. That is why ‘extra virgin’ olive oil and ‘Novello’ are more expensive than ‘ordinary’ olive oil.

How can I recognise it?

The difference with ‘extra virgin’ olive oil, like the one from il circolo, is that this has to rest for at least a month after pressing to allow fine particles of flesh to settle slowly. ‘Novello’ is not filtered and is easy to recognise because it is cloudy. It is sold almost immediately after extraction. That is why this new oil is offered (sometimes already during and) just after harvest time.
The young oil has a particularly intense flavour; a mixture of bitter and spicy with a fruity aroma of fresh olives, as is to be expected with a freshly pressed olive oil. ‘Novello’ steals the show in simple recipes, e.g. with fresh vegetables or on a bruschetta. Taste it pure with a fresh piece of bread and let the taste and aroma speak for itself.

Fresh and healthy

The unfiltered ‘Novello’ is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E and contains more polyphenols than ordinary extra virgin olive oil. These are beneficial plant substances with antioxidant activity, which are also said to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter Pylori – the bacterium responsible for stomach ulcers and gastritis.
It is not recommended to heat ‘Novello’. This will change the taste and healthy ingredients will be reduced. That is why it is mainly used cold.  As with the ‘extra virgin’ olive oil, the taste of ‘Novello’ becomes milder over time and the beneficial qualities of the oil diminish. An ‘extra virgin’ olive oil has an average shelf life of 24 months. ‘Novello’ has a limited shelf life due to the substances that make the oil opaque and cloudy. If these settle at the bottom of the packaging, they can ferment. It is therefore advisable to consume ‘Novello’ within six months, even though it can be kept for at least 18 months after bottling, provided it is kept in a dark and cool place. In order to be able to enjoy its flavour and beneficial qualities to the fullest, ‘Novello’ certainly applies: the fresher, the better.

Novello from il circolo 

This year, we are pressing ‘Novello’ from the first olives of our harvest as a trial. When it meets the highest requirements, our ‘Novello’ will be available in a limited edition next season. We will keep you informed via our newsletter. Do you want to be sure of your own ‘Novello’? We will be happy to send you a one-time reminder by email, if your would leave your contact details here.

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