Keeping alive the artisan tradition
La Tourangelle is the proud recipient of a time-honored tradition with origins in the Loire Valley of France. Since the Middle Ages, local artisan “Maître Moulinier” (Master Roaster) have mastered the art of roasting and pressing nuts kernels into delicious oils.
La Tourangelle is one of these few remaining oil mills keeping this heritage alive in Saumur, France and since 2002, in Woodland, California. We are a family-owned company whose mastery of oil production is the fruit of passion, integrity, and pride.
La Tourangelle has been built on values of authenticity, heritage and innovation. Our 150-year old mill is keeping alive the traditional production method because we believe it is still the best way to retain all the flavors, nutrients and health benefits that nature provides.
We are please to make you discover our tools, our process, our heritage.
Hand Selecting the best nuts
The oil mill in Woodland, California, produces oil from nuts grown in orchards near the mill, in the fertile Central Valley of California or in Cooperative farms from Oregon. The highest quality nuts are selected.
After harvesting, the nuts are washed, sorted, dried and shelled. The walnut kernels are then ground and poured into cast iron kettles for roasting. In French, the kettles are called “Pôellette” …we dare you to pronounce it !
Hand-roasting the nuts
The cast iron pots used to roast the nuts came from the mill in France, and they are as critical to the process as the artisanal know-how. If you simply press a fresh walnut, the oil you get lacks character. But when the nuts are roasted just perfectly, the rich flavor of the nuts is brought out in the oil.
Expeller-Pressed century-old French press
We use century-old hydraulic French press to slowly and mechanically extract the best of the nuts. It is basically just a big old steel stamp that pressed the nuts. No need for chemical.
Making outstanding oil is an expertise that is part art, part science; every detail counts from the timing of the harvest, the careful selection of the fruit, to the technique for pressing. We pride ourselves in offering you the best.
Once the Old French press as done its job, we have a beautiful and delicious oil that we need to filter in order to remove any impurities. We use cotton filters to keep the process natural from start to finish.
What about the remaining dried pressed nuts ? We call it “The Cake” because it really has the shape of a cake and looks as good as a real cake. We give it to feed cattle around. Nothing is lost in the nuts !