Saturday, 19 April 2008

Olive Oil Spectacular

Today was Rosalie Gourmet Market's Olive Oil Spectacular, where you could "come and meet some of the experts in Australian and European olives oils", according to the flyer. This was our first visit here, so I was quite excited to be visiting a new deli plus being able to taste lots of different oils. As an added bonus, there was 20% off all oils purchased on the day. Handy, when some of the oils were quite expensive. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We arrived a little before the 11am start, and amused ourselves looking through the deli and I made mental notes of all the things I wanted to purchase when we came back. We enjoyed a $2 takeaway coffee from a place across the road and watched the people in the cafes. It was very nice.

The spectacular took place outside the market on long white-covered tables. There were three olive oil experts, one olive expert (with many actual olives in addition to his olive oil) and another lady dealing in sparkling water. I can only remember two of the olive oil experts, so I do apologise to the third because it was his imported extra virgin blend that was my favourite, but the oil's $40 price tag wouldn't let me buy it.

First up was a selection of Australian and imported Italian oils from Palatable Partners. There was a Coriole extra virgin blend from South Australia, a Benzu extra virgin oil from taggiasche olives from Imperia, Liguria (north west coast Italy), a Caroli blend from Puglia (southern Italy) and a Rustichella from Abruzza (central Italy). Unfortunately for these oils, none of them really struck me. Maybe it was the battle you had to fight to get near him to taste them, he was by far the busiest while we were there. There was one particularly obstinate gentleman who refused to let anyone through while also refusing to try the oils but grilling the representative from PP about the difference between Australian olive oils and imported Italian oils.

PP representative: well, you can try them and see for -
Obstinate gentleman: I'm asking you!

On the other side of the market entry there was a lovely expert from Fino Food and Wine offering a selection of Pendleton Estate olive oils. There was the early harvest, cold pressed extra virgin blend plus their lemon pressed, lime pressed and basil infused olive oils. The flavoured oils were divine. The lime and the basil really came through the oil and the lemon, while a more subtle flavour than the others, was beautifully light and perfect for salads. I bought a bottle of the lemon-infused, and I can't wait to use it. These were my favourites, however the extra virgin didn't quite make the top of my list like the flavoured ones.

My favourite was an imported olive oil blend from Italy offered by the third expert, but of course, I didn't get the name of it. It was not quite as peppery as some of the other blends, but was silky smooth and fruity.

I found that when it came to extra virgin, I enjoyed the Italian oils more than the Australian ones. The Italian oils just had that extra smoothness that I like in an olive oil.

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