Australia, the land of milk and honey or is it Olive Oil?
No milk today, my love has gone away, but olive oil is here to stay
Never had a chance to meet these passionate ladies, as they come to the Overweigh Markets only once a month. We have talked about Alto Olives, Pukara Estate (weekly) and La Barre (monthly) before, so it was about time we talked about this Estate from the Hunter, in Broke, more famous for wine than olive oil. Marian and Michelle make only one olive oil, but it is extremely good, very oily and not grassy at all. They also make picled olives, beautiful balsamic vinegars and condiments
And on the other side of the bridge, up in North Sydney
It was first show for David Hanford who takes care of his olive grove in Tarago, NSW, one of the highest altitude grove in Australia. As a result his olives are last pressed every year at the Menangle press. He has won a bronze medal at the last EVOO Show competition and it is well deserved. It is not the cheapest around but David still got my hard earned cash for a 500ml bottle. I will be back...
This concludes my market update for this third Saturday of February Market update from Sydney!
If you have been searching for the perfect place to stay in France during the European Summer, you may want to explore "Coin Secret", a French website here people rent their own properties.
We stayed in one of them in Maussane in July 2009 and you may have read about it here on our "Travel"page, where you will find our own account and photos of the great time we had there. Up until recently, it was a bit convoluted to recommend the place, but now it is easy, just a few clicks away.
Obviously, this site is also full of other great places around France and even some in Italy.
The site is in French, English, Dutch and German, so, no excuses...
As far as I can remember, Mum always used one brand of olive oil, Puget.
Although today, this product is made out from olives from all over the Mediterranean Basin, it originated in Provence, and was made out of local "picholines", the main variety grown in the south of France.
Here, in Australia, we grow mostly Italian varieties, and I only found recently an olive grove in Mudgee that have planted "picholines":
Blacklea Vineyard and Olive Grove in Mudgee, where I have been looking to buy a farm, with a mature olive grove on it.
For the record, Blacklea is not for sale, but the grove I am looking at use Blacklea to process their olives.Puget started to export to south america and is now a big enterprise with not much resemblance with its artisan roots.
If you are interested in learning more about olives, olive groves, olive oil and related products, subscribe to our newsletter and you will know as much as I do in no time!
Every first Saturday of the month, Sydney treats itself to a mini food festival near the Harbour in Pyrmont.
This former industrial/marine area has been progressively gentrified with blue chip companies headquarters and luxury waterfront apartments and is attracting new fancy restaurants.
This market has been going since 1999 and has grown up to about 80 stalls of produce growers that come mainly from around Sydney, but some come from as far as the Riverina like The Little General Olive Oil.
But today, let me introduce you to Willowbrae Cheese. Karen Borg is the cheesemaker and husband David look after the goats. Karen produces a range of goat cheeses that are among the best I have tasted and are up there with the best French products. Whether you try the fresh curd (called "brousse in French) or the Mt Bowen which can compete with the best Ste Maure, you are in for a treat! You can check the whole range and find out where and when to taste all of them here.
I have known David for over 12 years, as he was an architect client of mine, before moving back to the land to help Karen for at least 7 years now. I have never seen himwithout a smile since...
I heard rumors of a new website being under construction...I will let you know as soon as it is released!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
A link here for our non-metric readers: