We tend to cook most things from scratch here in the Expression Confession household (cheese strings aside) and that means cooking with oils, which we use for frying, braising, roasting or dressing.
Recently the lovely folks at Candiasoil sent me a lovely tub of Oi1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil to trial.
What’s different about their oils is that they’re produced from one single variety of olive from individual farms (in Crete, I believe – great holiday destination) which gives them a more distinguished flavour and character. Most oils we see in the shops are blends of a range of olive varieties as this is more economical.
They also carry something called PDO- ‘protected designation of origin’ which means the olives have been picked out for their high quality.
I tried Oi1 Peza from Koroneiki olives from Peza in central Crete – billed as smooth and slightly fruity and good with red meat, vegetables and homemade dressings. It’s also genuine extra virgin – which means it’s produced from a genuine mechanical pressing process rather than adding chemicals.
Due to its extra virgin qualities, we didn’t want to use this as ordinary frying oil. We tried it firstly as part of a marinade for some lovely lamb chops (I say lovely – I’m vegetarian so these were for husband/children), using the remaining marinade to create a sauce. We also used it mixed with lemon and balsamic vinegar as a dressing for an accompanying salad.
We would definitely agree that the oil is a lot more flavoursome than the oils I usually buy. Much like buying a bottle of wine with different grape varieties, you can certainly tell the difference in character from the single grape variety used.
Also unique is the tin the oil is provided in (rather than a bottle) – this prevents sunlight reaching the oil and breaking down some of its natural beneficial chemicals.
Cost: The oil is £6.50 for 500ml bottle (available in Tesco stores) which I think is reasonable for an extra virgin oil (we use normal olive oil for cooking and extra virgin for marinades and salads).
I think we would definitely purchase this again and keep it as the ‘special’ oil – reserved for dressings and marinades so we can appreciate the flavour!
Disclosure: I was sent a run of Oi1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil to review, free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own.