INFUSED VS. FUSED - [AGRUMATO]
We've received of a flurry of questions and comments regarding misappropriation of the term "fused" by stores not supplied by Veronica Foods who are using it to describe oils that are not mechanically crushed, which is a process that strictly defines the category of "agrumato".
First, a little history... from the time we began making agrumato olive oil (aka "fused" olive oil) decades ago, we needed a word that best described our mill's process of crushing whole, fresh, organic olives together with perfectly ripe, fresh produce, strictly using cold mechanical extraction. We chose to use the word "fused" because the only other word that existed to describe this unique, artisan process was the Italian term, "agrumato". At the time, we felt the term "agrumato" was too obscure so we chose to call our agrumato olive oil "fused". The term "fused" as used to describe this process was essentially invented or coined by Veronica foods decades ago.
We believe that the term "fused" has been co-opted for a few reasons. First and foremost, the process of making agrumato is incredibly difficult, costly, and therefore incredibly rare. It's time consuming, laborious, and requires a near perfect choreography between farmers to bring fresh, ripe, locally sourced produce to the mill the moment the olives are ready to be harvested. We're talking mere hours from harvest to crush for both olives and fresh produce at our mill.
Furthermore, a recipe must be developed dictating how many tons of fresh herbs, fruit, or vegetables should be crushed with a specific ratio of olives. This process of formulation can take many seasons to perfect. We had many failures along the way before we got each agrumato olive oil right. Remember, a mill cannot simply stop production to make tiny test batches of agrumato in order to find flavor harmony. Our mill has an Alfa Laval in full swing during fall/winter harvest, and fresh olives need to be crushed immediately! Needless to say, the process of agrumato is a labor of love which requires a level of craftsmanship and dedication to quality that we hang our hats on. We're known globally for having one of the largest collections of authentic, high quality agrumato olive oil. We did not roll out of bed a couple years ago and decide to call ourselves experts. We arrived at our position in the industry after decades of hands-on experience. With that said, we're never done reaching for excellence but we have put in the time fine tuning the process, accruing many accolades and gold medals along the way.
It's for these reasons that we must assume that the intentional misuse of the term "fused" to describe oils that are actually infused, is a blatant attempt to fool and lure otherwise loyal consumers into believing product is authentic agrumato by competitors who can no longer acquire it.