One of our suppliers kindly let us know that a Victorian-Greek olive farmer had a surplus of premium extra virgin olive oil after a particularly fruitful season.
More than happy to take some of this quality olive oil off Lambros’s hands and support a Victorian farmer in the process, we bought 1,000 litres and the barrels arrived last week from Murrayville, about 6.5 hours north west of Melbourne in the Mallee region between Ouyen and the South Australian border.
Murrayville is known for its Mediterranean climate – low humidity and high sunlight areas – which is why Lambros’s olives continue to grow so well, especially this harvest. Olives were cultivated around the Mediterranean about 6,000 years ago and thrive on the cool/cold winters and hot summers (if you think about some of the countries olives are typically grown like Italy, Spain and Greece), so olive production thrives in the Mallee region climate.
This oil is just about as from the farm as you can get. Because it is of the highest quality and an entirely natural product, we can use it for a variety of purposes, dishes and occasions. The oil has been developed from a single variety of olives and it expresses a real robust character with a peppery flavour that makes it a suitable accompaniment to pretty much all of MCEC’s dishes. Its acidity works well with roast vegetables because it cuts through the sweetness and it is really nice as a dipping oil with our homemade sourdough bread.
Also, because of its vibrant green colour the olive oil looks attractive on the plate when we drizzle it over our Taste of Victoria (a selection of seasonal produce) entrees, like our roasted Lakes Entrance scallops.
We are bottling it ourselves here at MCEC and I thought this would be a great opportunity to show our staff how we work with farmers and support regional produce. We laid out some of the barrels and bottles in our M Lounge staff café for staff to help themselves, and needless to say it was a huge hit with people excited about taking home some of this premium oil that just the other week had come straight from the farm.
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