Last week three international and five local olive oil tasters came together to judge the 93 South African extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) entered into the SA Olive awards. The overwhelming feedback from the judges was that our local oils are superb. Special mention was made by a number of judges about the excellent flavour profiles of the entries into the delicate category.
Jose Mingo, an international taster from Chile, remarked on the unique fresh cut grass and wild herb qualities of the South African EVOOs. He went on to say that ‘South African producers can comfortably market their oils internationally with these distinctive flavour profiles as an element of differentiation in the market’.
For panel leader, Müge Nebioğlu, it was her first introduction to such a vast array of South African EVOOs. Müge commented that ‘the judging was an incredible experience and the oils were excellent. SA producers are very knowledgeable and their use of modern technology produces very good oils’.
The judges also talked about the effect of the continued drought on the quality of SA’s EVOOs and the fact that it has by and large not had a negative impact yet.
This Thursday evening is the big night when the producers find out which of their oils made the nod for the bronze, silver or gold medals in the SA Olive awards. This will be followed by the Absa Top 10 awards on 27 September.