THE WILLOW CREEK GUIDE TO MATCHING YOUR FOOD WITH YOUR OLIVE OIL
The 235-hectare Willow Creek estate lies in the beautiful Nuy Valley between Worcester and Robertson. The first trees were planted in 1999 and three styles of extra-virgin olive oil are produced on the farm from a wide range of cultivars, namely Nuy Valley, the medium Estate Blend and the intense Directors’ Reserve.
The olives aren’t pressed as such but rather extracted by a centrifuge. ‘The term “cold extracted” is used for olive oil that is pressed with a traditional hydraulic press,’ explains Willow Creek’s marketing manager AC Goodger. ‘However, cold extracted or cold pressed is not what you should be looking for on the label. Extra-virgin olive oil is always cold extracted or pressed, but a cold extracted or pressed olive oil isn’t necessarily extra virgin – just like a king is a member of a royal family, but a member of a royal family isn’t necessarily a king.’
‘Let your taste buds lead you, but we suggest you try the delicate Nuy Valley as a healthy alternative for products with trans fatty acids, saturated fats and refined oils in everyday cooking and baking, for preparing fish and for making homemade mayonnaise,’ AC advises. ‘Use the medium Estate Blend for grilling fresh tuna, oven roasting chicken and vegetables, and with salad and fresh bread. Enjoy the intense Director’s Reserve as a marinade and basting for grilled steak, swirled into hot soup, and with strongly flavoured dishes and ingredients such as onions, chillies, anchovies and matured cheese.’
Willow Creek is the only South African brand to snag a spot in the top 100 of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) world rankings – a spot it’s managed to hold on to for three consecutive years. Apart from olive oil and olives, it now also offers five variants of balsamic vinegar, including its Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Balsamic Glaze, Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar and Fig & Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar. These homegrown versions are created on the estate and matured in oak barrels.
Visit willowcreek.co.za for more information.