I was jumping for joy the other day when my special shipment of olive oil arrived from Greece! I was so excited! Excited because I was ready to sample and cook with some of this wonderful golden liquid. I know this is going to sound biased but Greek extra virgin olive oil is the best. No arguments. My parents sent me 20 litres of the stuff and I have been busy decantering it in my special bottle that will accompany all my future cooking experiments.
Australia produces some good local olive oil but I find the local produce to be too peppery. Lovely to dip your bread in but anything more than that, it can’t really hold its ground. My understanding is that the locally produced olive oil is too young and the olive groves here need a number of years to mature. I remember when I visited Greece as a child and we went to a local olive oil producing factory, my parents were toasting bread ready to dip into the first pressed oil. They explained that this was the “elixir of life” and that it could cure all sorts of ailments. I looked at them really strange not fully comprehending what they meant. Now as an adult I fully see what they mean. There’s no need for me to repeat all the advantages of eating a good quality extra virgin olive oil. We know it’s monosaturated and has no traces of trans fat. Yes it does contain fat but it’s good fat and everything in moderation…Some purists will argue you shouldn’t heat extra virgin olive oil because the flavours change! Yes of course the flavours change. Your dishes will have an added flavour dimension that they were missing before!
Anyway, when my shipment arrived I wanted to enjoy the oil in the most simplest way. I had purchased some vine ripened tomatoes the day before (I know…naughty foodie…out of season!) so I sliced them in half, sprinkled some sea salt and drizzled that beautiful Greek extra virgin olive oil over them liberally. The taste was beyond description…it was simplicity personified. The combination of oil, salt and juicy tomato was a great match. I can’t wait for the (real) summer time to arrive to fully get into it!