Liquid green olives, the seasoning by Caviaroli that’s revolutionising the kitchen
Family business Caviaroli continues to surprise year after year. It astonished the world ten years ago when it launched its oil pearls on the market, a feat that had previously seemed impossible. Now it’s done it again by creating a liquid green olive. Caviaroli has developed its new olive juice concentrate in collaboration with Albert Adrià, and it’s inspired by the famous liquid olive now closed El Bulli introduced into its catalogue in 2005.
Barcelona-based Caviaroli originally worked with the youngest Adrià brother to bring back the celebrated ‘liquid olive’ under the name DROPS; now it’s introducing a seasoning based on the juice contained inside these olive spheres that is specially aimed at the food service and hotel industry.
The liquid green olive is a powerful seasoning with an intense flavour that promises to revolutionise cooking and is available in three different formats: pressed green olive, green olive pickled with chipotle pepper, which is lightly spicy with a gentle smoky flavour; and the surprising olive with Ibarra chilli pepper that tastes just like a gilda without the anchovy.
DROPS: The revival of El Bulli’s emblematic ‘liquid olive’
It looks like an olive, smells like an olive, tastes like an olive, but... It's not an olive! It’s DROPS, an optical illusion consisting of a drop of intense olive juice inside a thin alginate membrane that perfectly imitates the look of an olive.
Nothing could be more surprising than the way your brain is deceived when you put a DROPS in your mouth –you think that it’s an olive but then it suddenly explodes on your palate, releasing the powerful olive juice inside and hypnotising you with its flavour.
DROPS is the result of teamwork by Caviaroli management and Albert Adrià and is based on the legendary liquid olive that was so successful at El Bulli and was nothing short of a culinary revolution.
Caviaroli is marketing three varieties of DROPS, each more surprising than the next: green olive, green olive with chipotle, which is lightly spicy with a subtle smoky flavour, and a liquid olive that perfectly imitates the appearance and flavour of a black olive of Aragon.
Caviaroli, the olive jeweller’s
Although the process has been known about since the middle of the 20th century, word didn’t spread about ‘spherification’ until a couple of decades ago. The word became fashionable with the new Spanish cooking revolution led by a generation of brilliant chefs headed by the remarkable Ferran Adrià.
Spherification is a gastronomic technique that involves wrapping or encapsulating a drop of liquid inside a thin layer of gelatine, creating a pearl that releases its flavour when it bursts in the mouth.
The process used to have one big limitation: you couldn’t make pearls from an oil or other fats because they aren’t soluble in water, and it wasn't possible to mix together the ingredients needed to make the sphere: alginate (a gelatine from brown algae) and a source of calcium.
In 2009, a family of entrepreneurs who work closely with the food world took on this challenge and, two years later, had succeeded in developing a process that could make olive oil pearls, which were marketed under the enticing name of Caviaroli. They had brilliantly succeeded in turning liquid gold into ‘caviar’.
Pearls for every taste
Since 2011, Caviaroli hasn’t stopped expanding its catalogue and today it has a wide range of flavoured EVOO capsules (basil, rosemary, chilli) based on virgin oils with fresh herbs added during the olive milling process, producing a clean, incredibly aromatic oil that is free from impurities.
Extra virgin olive oil pearls with hints of garlic, sesame, hazelnut, wasabi and white truffle all feature in the EVOO capsule catalogue. Caviaroli has also launched other equally original capsules, such as Modena balsamic vinegar spheres, and the latest additions to the family: different kinds of honey capsule.
The pearls created by this gastronomic jeweller’s are both decorative and a subtle way of giving a dish an unexpected twist because the ingredients and flavours don’t mix together until the capsule explodes in your mouth, achieving new and surprising sensations.