I recently stayed with some friends of mine. As a thank you for having me, I took them an Isobel Olives 500ml Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They were very thankful and pleased with the gift, and I hope I taught them something. The conversation went like this…
Friends: We can’t cook with this as it’s olive Oil?
Me: Yes you can – domestic cooking rarely reaches the smoke point of Olive Oil
Friends: Well the olive oil we use reaches that smoke point very quickly.
Me: Is it extra virgin Olive oil?
Friends: Yes – look.
They brought out a bottle of Olivani Extra Virgin Olive Oil bought at the local supermarket from their cupboard. I pointed out the label may be Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but it has no certification with Olives New Zealand. The Oil probably came from overseas, in which case other oils may have been added to it, or it might be passed off as an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but in fact could be a lesser Virgin Olive oil. This is a very common practice, particularly in Italy. Further it was stored in a clear glass jar so as light could get in, the oil would break down in quality very quickly.
My friends started reading the label. Produced in Auckland, but nothing about where the oil comes from, nothing on a harvest date, No best buy date. Nothing. That was a huge warning sign that it is really not Extra Virgin Olive Oil despite claiming that on the label.
This is really the scandal about Olive Oil buying in New Zealand. There is a huge investigation going on in Italy at the moment about Fake Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Yes you can pick up cheap Olive Oil in the Supermarket, but it will often will not be the real deal.
Always look for the Olives New Zealand Mark of Integrity when you are buying Olive Oil. This ensures you are really buying true Extra Virgin Olive Oil made here in New Zealand. These oils go through a strict regulation process so you know you are getting top quality. Always look for a Harvest Date and a Best Buy date. Buy fresh, and use your oil up, don’t let it sit around forever. Always buy your Oil in a dark bottle where light can’t get in and degrade the oil.
And use it for everything. Baste that roast chicken and roast vegetables. Add it to soups and stocks, make wonderful salad dressings, pour it on your toast, use it as a dip with fresh bread. You’ll be doing your body a favour as it’s full of good health benefits.
COME AND MEET US AT THE MARLBOROUGH FARMERS MARKET
Every Sunday in Blenheim, Isobel Olives has a stall at the Marlborough Farmers Market. You can come taste, and fall in love with our locally produced extra virgin olive oil made with genuine Marlborough olives!
We have Four types of olive oil to choose from, including a rare speciality Koroneiki oil, as well as beeswax cloths, and lip balms.
Wondering about how to buy extra virgin olive oil? We can tell you all about making olive oil, how it was produced locally at the Marlborough olive press and even recipes for cooking!
Just ask for Chris!
See you this Sunday.
Fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil