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J. Leblanc - nut oils

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Using the same granite mill which has been in action for four generations, the Leblanc family produce top quality oils made from nuts and seeds. About 300 litres are produced daily from their base in Iguerande, which lies at the southern-most tip of Burgundy, south of Charolles. From there, the speciality oils are exported all over the world. So well known are they that a Japanese TV crew is making a programme about them.

Walnut, pistachio, almond, rape seed, olive, grapeseed and pine kernels are a few of the raw materials used for the hand-crafted oils. These are not in general cooking oils, more seasoning oils used for dressings and finishing dishes producing a very special flavour and accompaniment.

Taking the best quality nuts from trusted suppliers, they are ground into a paste by the magnificent old mill. The paste is then roasted for about 10 minutes during which time it is stirred to ensure even heat distribution throughout. Next comes the pressing in a more modern hydraulic press. The oil rests for between one and two weeks to allow the sediment to settle before bottling.

Jean-Charles Leblanc now runs the business, along with his brother Jean-Michel and other members of the family. And as this is small-batch production, the oils are largely made to order, ensuring flavour and quality. If you are nearby, call into the shop in Iguerande which is open seven days a week,and let the heavenly smell of the roasted nuts and hot oil envelope you.

See also: Specialist Shops