Olive oils are freshly pressed each fall so it’s time to stock up. One bottle for your pantry. One bottle as a fabulous hostess gift. Or two. Or three. As Celia Tully, owner of Strippaggio in Emory Point, says, “Take your dinner party host a bottle of olive oil instead of a bottle of wine. They’ll enjoy it a whole lot longer.”
Remember that the flavor of olive oil will vary from year to year with weather playing a big role. You can taste the sun, rain and soil in every drop.
Terra Dolce di Georgia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Southeast Georgia = fertile soil and a mild climate = a great place to grow olives. Yes, we are growing olives in Georgia and two brothers, Tommie and Clint Williams, are making a mild, fruity olive oil from the arbequina olives they grow in Lyons about midway between Macon and the coast. They’ve got 18,000 trees and this year have produced a bumper crop of extra virgin olive oil - about 1,000 gallons worth. The oil is mild and fruity with a grassy, slightly peppery finish we really liked.
$30 per 325-ml bottle. Available at Strippaggio, Buford Highway Farmers Market, Prima Olives in Johns Creek, Kudzu and Company in Sandy Springs, High Cotton Uptown in Forsyth, Cook’s Warehouse and online at https://terradolcefarms.com/.
Chef’s Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Georgia Olive Farms
Georgia Olive Farms has been harvesting olives from their orchards near Lakeland, Georgia, since 2011. Lakeland is just a bit northeast of Valdosta. Each year they bottle limited quantities of their Pure Georgia Arbequina oil pressed from just Georgia olives. We sampled their Chef’s Blend, a mix of their Georgia-grown arbequina olives pressed with olives from California. The flavor is delicate with a bit of a peppery finish. The light flavor means it would work for sautéing and blend perfectly into vinaigrettes.
Chef’s Blend is $30 - $35 per 500-ml bottle. Available at Strippaggio and online at http://georgiaolivefarms.com/,
Holy Smoke Smoked Olive Oil
Kyle Payne and Max Blackman of Charleston, South Carolina, are the geniuses behind Holy Smoke and its line of smoked olive oil, honey, black pepper and Bloody Mary mix. They explain they are cold-smoking cold-pressed virgin olive oil with hickory and that their partnership is the perfect mix of a food guy (Kyle) with a machine guy (Max). The resulting olive oil is buttery with just a light smoked flavor. We could see it drizzled on a salad, used to fry eggs you’re going to accompany with bacon (double the smoky flavor), or added to your favorite salsa for an amazing smoky dip.
$15 per 8.5-ounce bottle. Available online at https://www.holysmokeoliveoil.com/. Use the code “AJC” to get free shipping
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