Sarah&Olive: Essential Oils
Weekl.ie now stock three exceptional Andalucian single estate extra virgin olive oils, selected and imported by Dublin based company Sarah & Olive. Single estate (all from one farm) and extra virgin (pure and cold-pressed, no heat or chemicals involved) are the markers of the finest olive oils. These speciality oils are a pantry essential that is worth the investment, bringing the vibrant taste of the Mediterranean olive grove to salads, grilled meats, fish and vegetables and even to baking. We do like to keep things local at Weekl.ie, but until they start growing olives in Wicklow, we feel it’s our European duty to embrace the abundant larders of our continental neighbours.
Andalucia is the natural home of amazing olive oil. These magical liquids contain the essence of the landscape as filtered through ancient traditions, perfect for sunny outdoor eating but will also brighten up a grey Irish day. People think of Italy as the world’s primary olive oil producers, but fact it is Spain and sixty percent of the world’s olive oil comes from Andalucia. Its landscape has long been mythologised and for good reason. Sarah says it is truly unique; from the minerals within the soil to the herbal influences that tiptoe into the tasting notes.
Olive oil is one of those rare foods: rich in health benefits but also luxuriantly delicious. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world and olive oil plays an important and flavourful role. Olive oil fats are healthier than the saturated varieties found in dairy and infinitely better than processed fats. All of Sarah’s oils are also ‘early harvest’ which makes for greener olives and increases the magical micronutrients called polyphenols. Polyphenols help prevent cellular damage and lower the risks of many diseases. Harvesting before fully ripe also gives the oil a luminous grassy hue and a herbaceous, slightly bitter flavour. The best producers know when to harvest in order to balance this early harvest potency with sweet, herbal and spicy notes.
Terroir and flavour profiles
The term terroir, often used to describe wine, also applies to these kinds of crafted, single estate oils. These low intervention oils are processed in very minimal ways so the liquid takes on the terroir or characteristics of the soil and the ecosystem that nourished it. The flavours are both complex and direct and capture the essence of the Andalucian landscape: earthy, spicy, vibrant and fruity.
The three oils we are bringing in from Sarah & Olive are next level, offering an easy introduction to the world of select extra virgin olive oil. Two of the oils are small-batch varieties from a very experienced producer, Nobleza del Sur, who have been making oil since 1640. Sarah says, “these are what you’d call finishing oils, perfect for barbecued foods, for drizzling, or put it on bread. You just get all the flavours”. The third oil, El Trujal de la Loma comes from one of Andalucia's most iconic olive oil producers, Cortijo Espiritu Santo. Lower in price, it’s organic and the perfect everyday oil.