Olive oil is an important item that we use in our everyday cooking, yet people don’t know much about it. Adelaide Food Central was invited by Cobram Estate, the leaders in Australian olive oil, for some olive oil tasting and bit of education on what to look for.
Firstly, a bit about Cobram Estate. Cobram Estate are the leaders in domestic extra virgin olive oil production. The first batch of olives were planted back in 1998, and in 2001, they launched to market by distributing to premium stockists along the eastern states. The following year, they introduced fresh and fruity extra virgin olive oils, and their continuing success has seen their quality products exported around the world. The olive groves are located in the Murray Valley across 6500 hectares of farmland. With 2.4 million trees and over 14 olive varieties, this is a large scale operation.
As part of the olive oil tasting, we got to smell and taste 5 different types of olive oil.
Light Flavour Intensity Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- has the aroma of fruity apples and green banana
- not very bitter in taste
- pungent in the back of your throat
- not too greasy
- quite clean
Classic Flavour Intensity Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- main olive oil sold in supermarkets
- uses a Spanish olive variety
- more spicy in flavour
- aromas of tomato bush and passion fruit
- great for tomato based dishes
- more full bodied
- peppery in the back of the throat
Robust Flavour Intensity Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- uses the Italian variety of olive
- high amount of antioxidants
- robust intensity of smell and taste
- bitterness on the back of your tongue
- very pungent
Reserve Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- uses Spanish variety of olive
- award winning extra virgin olive oil for 3 years running
- aroma is fruity
- very pungent
- harvested 3 months a year and crushed within a 6 hour period
Mystery Olive Oil
- has the aroma of plastic
- tastes terrible
- not a Cobram Estate extra virgin olive oil but good for comparison
The ultimate test for an extra virgin olive oil is combining it with food. For breakfast, I had the Peel St Fry Up which had bacon, eggs, tomato and mushrooms on sourdough with a generous drizzle of Cobram Estate extra virgin olive oil. While I haven’t had the same dish without the olive oil, the flavour of the natural ingredients were accentuated in this dish, and from tasting and smelling the olive oils individually, I would say it played a big part.
There are so many health benefits for using extra virgin olive oil and research suggests that it helps in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Like a wine, the smell and taste of extra virgin olive oil is dependent on the variety and where it’s grown. During our taste test, we learnt how to identify a quality extra virgin olive oil using our senses. Prior to Cobram Estates, extra virgin olive oil was sourced from European countries or local manufacturers that weren’t doing it as well. Cobram Estates has changed all this with their strict processes and quality control. They offer a range of extra virgin olive oil products that not only provide health benefits, but will enhance the overall flavour of your food.
Adelaide Food Central would like to thank the team from Cobram Estate for enlightening us on the world of extra virgin olive oil, and Liquid Ideas for making the event possible.