Q & A with Sue Langstaff

What are your thoughts on South African olive oil?

The quality of the oils I have tasted has been very good and on par with other very good olive oils from around the world.

What can we as an industry do to improve the South African olive oil industry.

Other than changing the climate to include more rain, it would be helpful to get growing and processing guidance from experts in the southern hemisphere, such Chile, Argentina and Australia. Also, it will just take time to discover which olive varieties will do best in each region of South Africa, as California is discovering. Sharing information within the industry is crucial to the success of the industry as a whole.

What makes a great olive oil tasting panel leader?

A taste panel is a team and a great panel leader has all of the qualities of a great coach: organized, process oriented, objective, knowledgeable, balanced/fair, patient/tolerant, tough/firm and realistic.

How can a consumer make better decisions when purchasing olive oil.

Consumers purchase olive oil for many different reasons: health benefits, pretty bottle, friend’s recommendation, price, value, etc. There are two main issues we want consumers to decide when making their purchase: that it is OLIVE oil (not another kind of oil) and that it is free of defects. Since all oils go rancid, it is important to stress the concept of freshness to consumers.

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Ask the Expert: The Doctor

Corli Leonard – Intern at New Somerset Hospital

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Olive Storage

Olives should be relatively firm, and never mushy or visibly bruised. If you’re shopping for olives at a store’s “olive bar,” look for olives dressed in brine, which helps them retain their moisture and flavour. They should also be turned over frequently for freshness. Alternatively purchase olives in a jar.

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Olive Curing

Olives need to undergo a curing process before they’re ready to eat, due to the bitterness of oleuropein. If you’ve accidentally bitten into a raw olive, you are familiar with the bitterness that follows.

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Olive Colours

The colour of an olive indicates its ripeness. The darker the olive, the riper it was when it was plucked from the tree. Olives transform from green to light pink to red and finally black.

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Harvesting Methods

For the olive industry, the harvest is about to begin and one cannot help to wonder what flavours the 2018 fruit will have locked in them. Will it be another bitter season or will mother nature be kind enough to grant a slow even harvest?

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15 Olive Fun Facts

Check out these fun facts all olive lovers should know:

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Ask The Expert: Mom

We all know mom is the expert around the house & that we can always trust her opinion!

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Top 10 Reasons Why EVOO is Best

In celebration of the Absa Top 10 Olive Oil Awards, we decided to focus on 10 reasons why EVOO is the best oil out there, helping you make an informed decision when taking a trip to the grocery store. 

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Top 10 Health Benefits

In celebration of the Absa Top 10 Olive Oil Awards, we decided to highlight 10 of the most important health benefits related to Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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