Here is another post in my new series looking at extra virgin olive oils taken at random from the marketplace. I am very lucky to have samples of evoo sent to me from time to time direct from the producers and of course these oils are likely to be the very best they produce. So I thought I would have a regular look at what is actually on retail sale in the shops and on dedicated websites.
This month I bought three oils all of which are available in various supermarkets. Two oils come from Anadalucia and one from South Africa. The Andalucian oils are very interesting as they both have very attractive aromas but the cheaper one disappoints in the mouth. It is just not a elegant and might be considered to be slightly unbalanced in the mouth. However, if it is your style of oil it is good value for money. The oil from South Africa had only just come into the UK from the 2018 harvest in South Africa which takes place in our mid-summer. I bought it from the importer and it may not be in the shops until a little later in the year.
San Leandro Spanish extra virgin olive oil
- The label states that this is an extra virgin olive oil from Andalucia that “is prepared in the mill on our estate”. There is no indication where that estate is.
- The company given on the label is Med International, a company based in Cordoba.
- There is no harvest date but the “best before” date is 03.2019
- It is priced at £5.50 for 500ml (£11.00 per litre) at Sainsbury
This oil has an attractive, really fruity fruit aroma that is full of citrus tones, particularly grapefruit and lemon with a touch of orange. There are also some tropical notes with lychees, pineapples and bananas. It is much harsher in the mouth with less fruit and growing bitterness and pepper that become quite strong. It is not very elegant but it is not sickly either which can be the case with cheaper oils from this region. It is quite stalky on the after-taste where it lingers for a while. I am in two minds about this oil but you will probably either love it or hate it!
Nunez de Prado A.O.C Baena Biological extra virgin olive oil
- This is Protected Designation of Origin oil from Baena in Andalucia
- The oil is pressed and numbered on the Nunez de Prado family estate from un-named olives grown on the estate
- There is no harvest date but the “best before” date is May 2020
- It is priced at £15.45 for 1 litre from Brindisa and some supermarkets and delicatessens
This oil has a really intense and attractive aroma of citrus fruits with plenty of grapefruit flesh and pith. There is also plenty of tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango and passion fruit. These tastes continue strongly in the mouth with matching bitterness and pepper coming in to balance the flavours. The flavours continue to develop with some honied violets and caramel adding to the mix in the after-taste. This is a first class oil that has lovely aromas and flavours and which does not disappoint on any level.
Morgenster extra virgin olive oil from South Africa
- The label states that this oil is made from Italian olive varieties grown on the Morgenster Estate in the Cape region of South Africa.
- The oil is pressed on the Morgenster estate
- The harvest date is given as 2018 and the “best before” date is 20 Feb 2020
- It is priced at £ 17.50 for 500ml (£35.00 per litre) from The Oil Merchant and Waitrose and delicatessens later in the year
- The oils has a wonderful aroma of wet hedgerows with flowers, leaves and stalks along with some citrus tones. There are lots of bitter herbs in the mouth with artichokes, almonds and a touch of liquorice and light toast. Next comes an attractive and well balanced pepperiness and everything runs into the attractive and long lasting after-taste. This oil is not as punchy this year as it sometimes is but it is equally attractive.