Established in 1878 Huilerie J. Leblanc is still run by a Leblanc, Jean-Charles, the grandson of the founder. The factory grounds are still located in the southern most village of Burgundy, Iguerande and continues to make high quality, small-batch, handcrafted nut oils and vinegars. J. Leblanc has been doing business with the same farms for generations, and credits their products quality to the quality of the farmers ingredients and the care that J. Leblanc takes with them.
One of the most important facts about Huilerie Leblanc’s production is not the “how” but the “when”. Because Huilerie Leblanc has no large storage facilities, or refining capabilities, production takes place when orders come in – assuring the very freshest nut oils. It’s a difference you can taste – in their clean, bright, deep flavors. This also increases the longevity of the product, these oils will last a year if refrigerated after opening.
For each batch of oil about fifty pounds of nuts are ground into a paste using the huilerie’s original granite mill. The paste, resembling the texture of peanut butter, is then transferred to a roaster, which toasts the paste for about ten minutes while being stirred constantly to assure an even roast. The roasted paste is then transferred to a mechanical press where it is divided in half and separated with filter cloth After being pressed the oil rests for seven-to-fourteen days to allow sediment to settle before bottling. Maximum production is about 300 liters a day.
J. Leblanc makes nice vinegars too, the walnut vinegar being their most unique. By using the leftover paste the vinegar is infused with a wonderful walnut flavor. Use these oils and vinegars to brighten the season’s vegetables and lettuces.