CULTIVAR

 

There are around 800 different Olive Cultivars in Italy alone, many of which are used for Olive Oil. Similarly to grape varieties in wine, the Olive cultivar influences the flavour profile of your oil.  Different cultivars, depending on size of fruit, thickness of the skin, composition of the pulp can produce different yields, varying concentrations of anti-oxidants and overall different quality levels.

LOCATION AND CLIMATE

 

As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.

OLIVE MATURITY

 

Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN GROVE AND MILL

 

People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.

FRANTOIO DI RIVA BOX

This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

The Landkeeper: Luca Gregori

Brothers Stefano and Luca Gregori share the joy of running Frantoio Gregori with the support and guidance of their wider family, following in the footsteps of their father and his father before him.  We were invited to their annual summer family and friends gathering, where we sampled their mother’s utterly delicious Olive Ascolane – a local traditional delicacy, made with their own Ascolane Tenera olives – honestly this celebration was beyond a feast, so many incredible flavours each speaking of their territory.

Younger brother Luca is completing his studies in agronomy and looks after their olive trees.  We caught up with him for a chat about organic agriculture, tradition and where to eat well in Le Marche (named recently as the top 10 regions to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet).

You are completing your studies in Agronomy. What are the most important lessons that you can apply to the succssful running of Frantoio Gregori?

The most crucial lessons which can help us develop the company are around the so called circular economy – a new approach to production and consumption, trying to offer new solutions that help the different demands of consumers. To do this we need to move beyond what we are doing in terms of company planning, sustainability of the land and of society around us. We are fully convinced of the fact that the quality of what we do is necessarily linked to the quality of the soil and environment around it (soil, water, organisms and animals which inhabit it)

Your family has shown a passion for authentic local ingredients for many generations. What do you feel you have learned from them?

We bring with us the flavours, aromas and colours of Le Marche’s culinary tradition as indelible images in our “sensory” memory. We will try to bring with us the values handed down from our grandparents to our parents, hoping to be able to pass them on to our children and grandchildren with the same pride and the same passion of our ancestors in a sort of circular economy of food and wine traditions.

How has the cuisine in Le Marche changed over the years? What do you consider to be the most representative dish today?

Over the years, the cuisine of Le Marche has changed hugely, passing from a “poor” kitchen in which the dishes had relatively low nutritional values, to a richer and at times more calorific cuisine.  The dishes that tend to live on are the most flavoursome, those that were once the dishes of feast days. I think that the vincisgrassi and the ascolana olives are the most representative historical dishes of the region – they are very different from each other but both are incredibly laborious and complex to make, in both cases it is the details that make the difference starting from the raw material to the hands of the cook who makes them.

Your university research has focused on the cultivar Ascolana Tenera. Can you summarise your findings?

This is a 2-year research carried out in parallel also by Spanish colleagues on the Manzanilla de Sevilla cultivar. We have tried to observe how the Ascolana Tenera responds to certain foliar treatments throughout the fruit development phase. Our goal was to observe how these treatments influenced the qualitative parameters of the table olive and to highlight the most appropriate periods to carry out the treatments. We still have to work out the statistics of the second year but already in the first we had positive feedback.

You are fully committed to organic agriculture. How come you chose this and why is it so important for you?

We have chosen to farm our groves organically because we believe that preserving the environment and the health of the place where we live is very important, more than obtaining greater yields from the field.  Obviously this choice involves a bigger effort in terms of time dedicated to the olive trees and the costs, especially during the summer months can be higher. Working the land organically requires technical know how to select the best interventions. We consider this to be a year round approach, as for other fruit cultivation such as apples and apricots, which is one of the most technologically advanced sectors of agriculture.

Our experience tells us that the best place to eat in Le Marche is your family’s house. Can you point us in the direction of some other favourite places to eat?

In Le Marche it is true, we eat very well within the families that carry on their gastronomic traditions, but there are many restaurants worth seeking out, places where traditional cuisine is made but also with a modern interpretation.

From north to south I would mention Nostrano in Pesaro where the raw materials of the Marche region from the sea and the land take on new and fascinating forms.

In Senigallia the tradtional Uliassi e Cedroni is always good – here you begin your meal with bread and oil of Raggia or Ascolana Tenera.  Also worth a mention is the authentic trattoria Vino e Cibo.

In the Ancona area we are very attached to the restaurant Dal Mago in Morro d’Alba, also specialised in game.  In Filottrano the Gallo Rosso is a guardian of the most traditional Val Gardena cuisine where the choice of raw materials is rigorous.

In the Macerata area the restaurant I Due Cigni of Montecosaro makes vincisgrassi that recall the past and on the sea in Civitanova da Galileo the fish is always centre stage and fabulous.

At Porto San Giorgio a refined cuisine is shown by two exceptionally talented young guys at L’Arcade and by Retroscena, on the seashore Stella Adriatica is a very nice place that satisfies both visitors and locals.

In Lapedona Didacus a restaurant famous for being a gourmet pizzeria but where the raw materials are second to none, in Ortezzano and Offida we love Piceni and Ophis, where the traditional cuisine that the two cooks know very well is combined with innovation.

In Grottammare, L’Attico sul Mare serves top quality seafood and reinterpretations of tradition such as the brodetto alla sambenedettese, inside the old embankment perched on the hill with a breathtaking view of the Borgo Antico, we love this place.

In Ascoli Piceno the Piccolo Teatro, a stone’s throw from Piazza del Popolo, is a quiet place, great for a romantic dinner where you can taste olive all’ascolana and other local specialties and Villa Cicchi, an ancient farmhouse in the countryside in Rosara just outside Ascoli where the Piceno traditions are preserved.

The science of good health: Dr Simon Poole

Physician, award winning author, public speaker and broadcaster, Dr Simon Poole has been extolling the virtues of the Mediterranean Diet and the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in particular since the 1990s. His seminal book, The Olive Oil Diet (authored with Judy Ridgway), brought to life how easy is it to live better for longer. You can follow him on twitter @thetasteofthemed 

 

How do you get your patients to consume more EVOO? Is extolling it’s health benefits enough or do you have more practical tips?

Firstly, I am passionate about lifestyle medicine, because perhaps 70 – 80% of chronic diseases can be prevented, and a good diet is central to a healthy lifestyle. The body of evidence supporting the Mediterranean way of life as a gold standard to protect from illness and to support a long and healthy life is now very well established and compelling. The common denominator and universal ingredient of all the regional variations of the Mediterranean Diet is extra virgin olive oil and it is a significant contributor to the Mediterranean Diet Score used by scientists to measure adherence to the diet. There is also increasing evidence that extra virgin olive oil on its own has measurable beneficial effects. It is perhaps the oldest and most convincing superfood! When I discuss eating patterns with my patients, I encourage them to adopt the Mediterranean Diet with extra virgin oil at its heart. It is not only the healthiest of diets, but it is delicious, enjoyable and sustainable.

 

In an interview you said that people should eat a litre of EVOO a month. Is this just condiment oil (over salads, pasta, meats etc) or even frying and cooking?

A litre of EVOO a month is equivalent to the quantities measured on the dietary scores by researchers in most studies describing the benefits and positive health outcomes of the Mediterranean Diet and EVOO. In most northern European countries and the USA consumption would need to increase ten fold to achieve this. I recommend that people use EVOO in the way that the peoples of the Mediterranean use it for cooking, food preparation and as a condiment. It is the ubiquitous fat and features in all meals and cooking. It is also a fundamental part of the history and culture in these regions.

 

Which would be your number one life style-hack to ensure more people arrive at that litre a month.

I encourage people to buy a 3 or 5 litre can or box of affordable, good quality regional EVOO and use it every day for all food preparation and cooking. I suggest ditching other less healthy oils and fats and banish them from the kitchen. People can then choose a more premium oil for the table for flavouring and finishing dishes and can explore and enjoy the taste differences between excellent quality EVOOs.

 

What is the most compelling reason to exchange butter for EVOO in your diet?

There are so many reasons to exchange butter for EVOO in our diets. EVOO is fundamental to the Mediterranean Diet, is made up mostly of healthy monounsaturated fats, is plant based and is environmentally sustainable (with 10 kg of carbon “fixed” per litre produced), and has a complex range of tastes which add exquisite flavour to foods. However it is probably the unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which have beneficial health effects present in the “fruit juice” of the olive which provide the most compelling reasons. These compounds called polyphenols, as well as vitamin E are critical in protecting our bodies from the damage of oxidative stress and inflammation.

 

From a scientific perspective what is it that makes EVOO superior choice for cooking with?

The polyphenol compounds which occur naturally in EVOO, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protect the fats in EVOO from breakdown, preserving the health of EVOO when used for cooking at all usual temperatures in the kitchen. This makes a good EVOO the perfect oil for cooking, roasting and frying, just as the peoples of the Mediterranean have used it since ancient times. The “smoke point” of an oil is a very poor indicator of its performance at temperature, and whilst cooking temperatures are well below the “smoke point” of EVOO, there are also additional benefits of cooking with EVOO which involves the exchange of antioxidants between vegetables and EVOO, creating an even healthier end result.

 

For those of us who follow the subject, there is constant new research about the health benefits coming out. Which are the most significant facts that have emerged for you in the last few years? 

Probably the synergy of cooking vegetables with EVOO and the combined effects of the polyphenols is the most exciting development in recent years, making it not only entirely safe to cook with EVOO, but also desirable as a way to maximise health and to gain the most from the nutrients in vegetables. EVOO has also been shown to significantly reduce the formation of potentially harmful chemicals called heterocyclic amines when meat is cooked – the antioxidants in EVOO deterring the production of these compounds when meat is grilled for example.

 

What was your lightbulb moment with olive oil? When did you decide to immerse your self into the subject?

I have been interested in the health of the Mediterranean Diet for years, promoting it to my patients since the 1990s knowing the evidence for its benefits was increasing year on year. I have also enjoyed the taste and flavours of EVOOs as part of this lifestyle. However, as a doctor my lightbulb moment with EVOO came in 2012 when the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition published findings of an associated 26% reduction in death for those you consumed high levels of olive oil compared with non users for the period of study, with deaths from heart disease nearly halved. Since then there has been even more evidence of the unique role that EVOO plays in conferring the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

 

What are the lines of current research on EVOO that excite or interest you the most? 

So many chronic diseases, including heart disease but also conditions such as Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia relate to chronic low levels of inflammation. New discoveries of the anti-inflammatory effects of EVOO are creating an understanding of how such illnesses may be prevented. Even in the last month there has been a publication demonstrating that a single meal including sofrito – the sauce with EVOO, onions, garlic and tomatoes, can very quickly and measurably reduce markers of inflammation. It is exciting to see the tangible, real world link between enjoying wonderful EVOO containing meals with an outcome that probably means a healthier body and mind.

The memory collector: Tessa Kiros

Tessa Kiros’s work has been very important to us: her book on Tuscan cooking ‘Twelve’ was the first cookbook we bought together as a young couple and the pages have been worn and loved over the years.  She has written an incredible selection of fascinating books, combining her love of travel and collecting, but also her heritage and eclecticism. She was very kind to speak to Frantoi.org about her journeys, life in Tuscany and naturally Extra Virgin Olive Oil.   You can find out more about her and her wonderful books via tessakiros.com

 

You come from a mixed heritage, spent time growing up in different countries, but have been living in Italy for many years now. What brought you to Tuscany in the first place? Is there a culture you truly feel is yours now? Have your children leant more towards their Greek, Italian or Finnish heritages?

I first came to Tuscany to study the language & the food. Here I met Giovanni – we have been married for 22 years this November. I travel a lot – so I probably spend as much time away as in Tuscany. I am comfortable to call many places home – but I think the one that I feel is most home is Greece.
I have always incorporated all of our nationalities into our lifestyle – through food, travel & stories with my children & family. I think it is important. At home now we have a mixture of everything & my daughters have spent time in all of the places. They love it all.

 

How does your South African upbringing fit in to your cultural tapestry?

I spent all of my school years in South Africa – I think these are important years. We had a mixed cultural upbringing – a rich tapestry of different traditions, also mingled in with friends of many nationalities in different elementary schools. I went to a Greek High School. At home we followed Finnish & Greek traditions & holidays – like Greek Easter, Finnish Christmas Eve celebration with regular Christmas on the 25th. I love South Africa – I still love visiting.

 

When did you become a food writer?

I became a food writer when I wrote my first cookbook ‘Twelve’ – It was a way for me to keep all the recipes I had collected from my time in Tuscany & from working in Giovanni’s family restaurant. I had always kept notebooks & journals even before that.

 

What is your first memory of olive oil?

The summers we would spend in Greece from a young age – sitting at long tables by the sea at a taverna & the Greek salad with bright oil poured over the top. We always loved the end part where the oil had mixed with the tomato juices & origano at the bottom of the bowl – to dip our bread in.

 

The 3 cultures of your childhood treat fats and flavour layering very differently. Do you find yourself mixing methods and trying to incorporate one ingredient rather than another one? Or do you remain a purist when cooking for family and friends?

I am not a purist – unless it is essential to the taste of a dish. But I don’t like mixing things up for no reason. Finnish foods often use butter & cream & have fats in the wonderful salmons for example. When I cook Finnish food I do add olive oil with a mixture of butter. I also often like to add a blob of butter to Greek & Italian foods here & there if I think it will be good in a dish. I also love to use ghee & sesame oil in my food. I believe in artistic license – but I also really do love traditional foods – when you can taste the place in the dish.

 

What is it that you just don’t get about the Italians? 

That not much English is spoken – at least around where I live. The dubbing. I mean I get it that they do a great job. But I personally don’t like to go to movies that are dubbed. I think films should be left in the language they were made in with sub-titles.
The closing hours in small villages – I live in the countryside & very often feel frustrated about the 10-1 then 4-7 shop opening hours. The time that things are closed is often when I find I need something! By the time I actually get out somewhere there is not enough time to get several things done in the morning for example…. In the bigger towns this is different. I don’t get it though – that even those small wonderful alimentari shops close at lunch time! I still haven’t managed to cultivate the before-hand planning for the day – even after all these years in Italy!

 

What do you eat for breakfast usually?

My very favourite breakfast is a cappuccino & croissant – but I don’t have this always.
I also love a bowl of Greek yoghurt with honey, nuts & some fruit. In winter I sometimes love a bowl of warm oat porridge with cinnamon.

 

Of the various books you wrote which one stretched your professionally the most? Given that you continue to add different cuisines to your storytelling and cooking repertoires, which one was hardest to feel you understood it and therefore which book was hardest to complete?

I think my latest book ‘Provence to Pondicherry’. I knew from that start that it would be a stretch but it was one that I really wanted to do. The challenge was in the several places – that were each very diverse – that had to be covered for the research & photography. It is very different to write a book in these circumstances than to write from a place where you have grown up or have relatives for example. But it wasn’t hard for me to complete – this is exactly what I love about my work – this opportunity to explore other cultures & represent them from my viewpoint. I loved this journey – it was so inspiring. And when I am inspired I can write & work. So many incredible things happened along the way, such wonderful people happened upon my path – I truly love this process in my work.

 

You call yourself a collector: what are the most extraordinary things you have collected?

Of recipes. I am a collector of images. Spices. Ideas. Of memories. I have come home with a tortilla press from Mexico. A beautiful piece of silk from Sri Lanka. Fabrics are amongst my greatest loves.

 

Living in Tuscany, which ingredient do you find you miss the most from your larder?

Fresh coriander, dill, rice vinegar, salt & vinegar chips, cheddar, stilton, sesame oils. The base for tarama for example. Fresh lime leaves, curry leaves. Papaya, green mangoes & tamarind. Makrut limes. I do miss being able to get different breads like a proper Lebanese or Persian flatbread or a great souvlaki on the run.
In compensation – we have wonderful panini places & really incredible ingredients in Tuscany – something which I am always grateful for & am lucky that I can cook many things at home. I go to Florence often & come home with a stack of ingredients.

 

What is your relationship with Olive Oil?

Olive oil is one of my top ingredients that I would never be without in my kitchen – along with a good crunchy salt, & fresh herbs like sage growing outside.

 

Do you have a favourite type of olive oil?

I love many oils – Tuscan, Ligurian, Greek. Any oil that comes from the village. And of course freshly pressed oil is so impressive – it is a time I really look forward to – savoured with the November vegetables & recipes.

 

Which recipe do you feel represents best your relationship with olive oil?

For me – it is hard to beat a fresh raw artichoke dipped into a bowl of olive oil, salt & pepper. A summer tomato scattered with salt & olive oil. Bruschetta or the Greek Dakos, the toasted bread rubbed first with a piece of garlic. A piece of feta or burrata, scattered with herbs & a liberal splash of olive oil. An egg – soft fried in a small pan in olive oil.
The recipe that best represents me I think is the Greek ‘Ladolemono’ which is olive oil whipped with lemon, salt & pepper & poured over warm grilled fish. I love this. I also make a rice pudding with olive oil & plums.

 

As a seasoned traveller can you name your best places for a) street food, b) taverna food and c) fine dining?

Street food: Vietnam & Thailand.

Taverna: Greece & Italy.

Fine(and generally great) dining: Australia.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Manos Chatzikonstantis  @manoswashere

Interview: Giulia Scarpaleggia

Giulia has written five cookbooks and has an acclaimed blog featuring delicious, faithful Tuscan recipes.  She also runs cookery classes from her countryside kitchen.

What made you realize that food was at the centre of your world?

I’ve always loved food, since I was a child. Cooking with grandma and with mum was fun, one of my favourite activities on a sunday morning. But I really realised that food was at the centre of my world when I was working in an office, in a communication job I really did not like.

I would come back home and cook: fresh pasta, risotto, a cake. Anything that I could improvise with a bunch of random ingredients from my mum’s pantry and fridge. This is when I started my food blog, in 2009, and slowly my passion for food and cooking took over every single spare moment.

I like to think that it is my honesty and authenticity. I am a Tuscan born and bred food lover, and all my recipes are usually related to memories or family stories. I like simple, seasonal food, and I share recipes that are easy and fun to make.

What is your favourite month of the year in the kitchen and why?

I love seasonal produce, so I am usually excited when the months pass as new ingredients are introduced into my cooking routines. But if I have to choose one month, it would probably be October. After the summer heat, it is finally time for squash, mushrooms, soups, stews and bruschetta with new olive oil.

2018 was an incredible year for you personally and professionally – would you like to share a couple of highlights?

Well, first and foremost my wedding in late September. We had a homemade country wedding, we prepared fresh ravioli for all our guests, liqueurs and jams for the cheeses, we held the ceremony in our tiny country church and we gathered with family and friends after the wedding in the nearby agriturismo. It was exactly what we had hoped for: simple honest food and the people we love around us.

Your speciality is Tuscan food.  How do you suggest people living abroad source the best ingredients to recreate your recipes?

I think farmers’ markets are always a good place to start. And speciality stores, off line and on line, now are definitely supplying everything you might need. Oh, yes, a trip to Tuscany might also be a good idea!

This said, I think that when you share a recipe you should also give the instruments to guide your readers to be able to replicate it with what they have.

What is your greatest extravagance in the kitchen?

I like quality, so I prefer to buy local meat at the butcher, seasonal vegetables at the market, local stone ground flours from farmers. So probably my greatest extravagance it the time I spend sourcing for the ingredients I like, and the bucket of Maldon salt I buy every year to sprinkle over tomato salads, fish, meat and chocolate cakes!

You undoubtedly use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in almost all of your dishes… can you think of a recipe that is suitable for January that you would share with us that includes EVOO?

After the first frost cavolo nero is at its best, so in January cavolo nero is tender, sweeter, less fibrous. A bruschetta with cannellini beans and boiled cavolo nero, sprinkled with salt and black pepper and finished with a generous drizzle of EVOO is my idea of winter comfort food.

Do you use a variety of different olive oils in your kitchen?  Can you talk me through this?

Oh yes! I have a good quality 100% Italian EVOO oil that I use for cooking, including frying. Then I have a local Tuscan EVOO and a Sicilian EVOO – from Nocellara del Belice olives – that I use to drizzle over salads, soups, grilled meats and fishes, or simply toasted bread.

I like the Nocellara EVOO in summer over tomatoes, and I prefer the Tuscan over my grilled meat.

I also bake with EVOO, in this case I am happy when I can use a lighter EVOO, a Leccino monocultivar from Tuscany, or a Ligurian EVOO.

What are your kitchen new year’s resolutions for 2019?

I want to eat simple honest food, and I want to get better at baking with my sourdough starter!

 

To discover some of Julia’s brilliant recipes, visit her blog: https://en.julskitchen.com/blog or follow her on Instagram @julskitchen

Nutrition and vitality: Emma Ellice-Flint

Emma Ellice-Flint, has created an incredible following in Australia and globally for her attitude to nutrition and in particular how to assist hormonal balance naturally.

 

What made you follow this path?  What was your lightbulb moment?

When I was working as a Chef in both the UK and Australia I not only loved food and cooking but also how those foods made me feel. I wanted to have plenty of energy to get through my day, to feel alive and really strong. I found that if I ate certain foods I would feel that way. This led me to think what was in those foods that affected me both positively and negatively, and how I could influence others to feel as alive and well. So I began my Nutrition degree and the passion for my career started and has never waned, I love what I do!

 

If you could suggest one ingredient to take out of or limit in your diet, what would it be and why?

Processed fats like hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. This is because every cell in our bodies has a membrane called a phospholipid bilayer, a continuous barrier around cells. They function by moving particles in and out of the cell, helping to keep the cell healthy and functioning at its peek.

When we eat these rubbish fats they end up in our cell membrane causing it to be less flexible and permeable. The result is a sick cell. Now when you consider we are made up of billions of cells then you can understand how this can affect the functioning of every part of your body, both physically and mentally.

 

Quality of raw materials is obviously an essential part of eating well.  What’s the ingredient you are least likely to economise on in your kitchen?

Extra virgin olive oil! I always buy the best quality because it contains monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. The antioxidants help protect the body from damaging free radicals which cause cell damage and monounsaturated fat is linked to a reduction in diseases such as heart disease, as well as improved cholesterol balance and blood sugar control. This makes for a healthy body!

 

You run bespoke consultations, courses and retreats in the UK and Italy, what can people expect from your approach to food?

At my Nutrition clinic, workshops, cooking demonstrations and retreats people can expect to learn all about what it takes to feel more healthy, balanced and full of life. Understanding their bodies and feeding them the best way they can. Plus when people see food being cooked, taste it and know why it is so good for them, they are inspired to continue and make it for themselves.

 

What do you consider to be the greatest influences in contemporary Australian cuisine?

The natural environment influences Australian cuisine a great deal. The weather is great for growing produce, which means fruits and vegetables are so fresh, varied and abundant. The other very interesting influence on Australian cuisine are native foods. Australian native foods offer so many interesting flavours and amazing health benefits. Take for example Kakadu Plums, they are the worlds richest food source of vitamin C, you could definitely call them a superfood! There are many others such as finger limes, riberries, wattleseed and the myrtles such as lemon myrtle. All with impressive tastes and health benefits.

 

From a nutritional perspective, can you tell me why you recommend Extra Virgin Olive Oil as part of a balanced diet?

I’ve touched on this above, but it is such an important part of a healthy way to eat that I think it worth speaking about it again. The most interesting thing about extra virgin olive oil is in big population studies it consistently shows up as being one of the main factors why people are healthy. Referred to as the Mediterranean Diet, of which extra virgin olive oil is a key component, these large population studies show remarkable health benefits. Other research seems to be pointing towards extra virgin olive oil helping to prevent breast and colon cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and help you to live longer!

 

Can you recommend a recipe you’ve recently used EVOO for?

I use extra virgin olive oil in so many of my recipes, even desserts! So it’s hard to choose a favourite.

Here’s one I love, Whole Lemon Cake, because it’s lovely and moist as well as zesty and tangy, plus really easy to make: https://emmasnutrition.com.au/sweet-things/lemon_cake/