We’ve long-admired the work of Jane and Brian Casey at Mountain Yuzu – so when the opportunity came up to work together on a new, limited edition Agrumato-style yuzu pressed olive oil, we jumped at the chance!
Based on the lower slopes of Mount Buffalo, just off the Great Alpine Road, you’d be hard pressed to find two people more passionate about growing cool climate citrus in all of Australia. Almost ten years ago the Caseys pivoted away from their first love of chestnuts into yuzu, bergamot, and chinotto fruits – and they haven’t looked back, today caring for almost 2000 trees across their 20 acre property. While the Mountain Yuzu farm isn’t certified organic, the Caseys follow organic principles very closely, only occasionally using chemical fertilisers and completely banning pesticides and fungicides from their orchards.
This year Mount Zero was lucky enough to head up to the orchard and pick up around 1.5 tonnes of freshly-picked yuzu fruit. General Manager Rich Seymour picked up the precious cargo in person, then drove it across the state to the oil press that very afternoon to ensure that whole Frantoio olives and whole yuzus could be cold-pressed together within hours of picking. This style of pressing is called Agrumato, and it’s a traditional Italian method of pressing whole citrus fruits with whole olives to create a delicious zesty olive oil. The freshness and hand-picked touch is really evident from the very first fragrant wafts of our new yuzu oil – it’s hugely aromatic and its flavour lingers in all the right ways.
We think there are a million-and-one uses for this oil - dress a Japanese-style salad, put a unique twist on an olive oil cake, or dip sourdough straight in! - but we were lucky enough to be able to ask an absolute expert in these unique flavours: Meg Tanaka from Cibi/Minanoie, who has shared a beautiful recipe for Kingfish Crudo dressed in Yuzu Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
While we’d love to take all the credit for this brilliant new product, we must pass it on to Jane and Brian - they had done an Agrumato trial run last year with some local olive growers, and had received excellent feedback on the product. They knew that we were already doing some great work with our Agrumato oils range, and so we were lucky enough to be approached by them to work on the yuzu oil together. It’s now turned into a beautiful collaboration and friendship!
“From the very first moment we made contact, Mount Zero Olives have been incredibly supportive,” says Jane. “It’s great to do collaborations with such enthusiastic producers, and we’re really proud to be associated with them.”
Jane, the feeling is mutual. We’ve loved working on this oil with you. So here’s cheers to our new yuzu pressed oil, and to a very ‘fruitful’ partnership!