THE WIL­LOW CREEK GUIDE TO MATCH­ING YOUR FOOD WITH YOUR OLIVE OIL

LOSE IT! - - Food / Olives -

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.

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