During the summer of 2015 we traveled to France to explore the unique places from which our products originated. The first stop on our tour was the oil mill owned and operated by the LeBlanc family since 1878.
Located in Iguerande, France (a town of 100 people), Jean LeBlanc began producing oils due to an abundance of walnuts and grape seed in the town. 4 generations later the LeBlanc family has passed down the secrets of producing the oils to the brothers who currently own and operate the mill: Jean-Michel and Jean-Charles. The family keeps the business so close that the parents of Jean-Michel and Jean-Charles live in the apartment directly above the shop in Iguerande.
On our visit Jean-Michel demonstrated to us the careful process that has been used to extract oils for over 120 years.
The first step of the process is to remove the shells of the nuts; then the nuts are crushed using a granite stone that weighs 200 kilos; prior to electricity this stone was pulled by a horse to make it turn. After 20 minutes, the crushed seed paste is ready to be toasted.
The second step calls for the seeds to be lightly toasted to the taste of the oil producer. Only the olive oil is cold pressed.
In the third step, the seeds are pressed to extract the oil. To produce 1 liter of oil, 2-2.5 kilos of nuts are crushed.
The final step of the process calls for the oil to be clarifed, but is never filtered. After 4 days the oil put into barrels and then bottled. Each batch can produce up to 300 liters of oil per day.
The LeBlanc name is world-renowned as its oil sold throughout Europe, The United States of America , and Japan. They have been working with the same production methods and products since the very beginning that stays to true to the meticulous standards that Jean LeBlanc established all those years ago.
The French Farm carries all LeBlanc products.