<span class=”firstcharacter”>W</span>e were recently invited to the Cobram Estate Harvest, Boundary Bend in regional Victoria and learn all about Extra Virgin olive oil (EVOO)!
The day started with a flight to the estate via a private aircraft which flew over the breathtaking olive groves of Cobram Estate. Once we landed, we were greeted by the CEO of Cobram Estate, Rob McGavin, along with his colleagues who took us on a bus tour through the olive groves whilst teaching us about the different olive types, flavours and machinery used to create EVOO.
Rob walked us through the step by step process used to create EVOO at Cobram Estate by first showing us the olive picker machine used to harvest the olives. Once they were picked, the olives were taken to the factory where the extraction process started. Inside the factory was lots of machinery and equipment used to extract the oil from the olive. When we first walked in we saw the olives being washed and then crushed, turning the olives into a thick paste called tapenade ( you may have tried this at restaurants as a dip). Then, we stopped to see the stream of lime liquid pouring out of the extractor and got to taste the fresh oil. After that, Rob showed us where the olive oil gets stored, away from light and oxygen in order to preserve the nutrition and antioxidants until it gets transported to their bottling facility in Geelong.
After our tour, we were taken back to the newly designed decking area where we taste tested the different types of olive oil, while Cobram Estate’s Agricultural Engineer, Leandro Ravetti educated us on the health benefits of EVOO. I was surprised to learn about the countless benefits which include:
- High levels of natural antioxidants which reduce blood pressure, risk of blocked arteries and the amount of bad cholesterol
- EVOO does not contain trans fats
- Helps you feel more full after meals
- The natural antioxidants found in EVOO can help prevent cell damage and are anti-aging
- EVOO is also a natural anti-inflammatory
- EVOO is the best type of oil to use (whether fresh or heated) because unlike refined oils, it contains many healthy fats and antioxidants
Also on a side note – Oils which are not labelled as Extra Virgin olive oils (eg. light or virgin olive oil ) aren’t as beneficial because they are usually extracted using heat and chemicals. Hence why Cobram Estate only produce Extra Virgin olive oil, as it is the most health beneficial olive oil.
Then, our favourite part of the day was of course the delicious lunch that was prepared for us by the talented chef, Kevin O’Connor. For appetizers we had roasted pumpkin pieces with a sesame seed glaze and tarragon leaves as well as grilled broccoli with crumbed shallots and goji berries. For main we had slow roasted lamb on a bed of barley stew and had the most perfect quince meringue for dessert. Naturally, all the dishes had EVOO in them, including the dessert and they were all spectacular to say the least!
Overall, the trip to Cobram Estate was an incredible experience that gave us first hand insight into how EVOO is produced and the numerous health benefits it has. So the next time you buy oil make sure you look for the EVOO, particularly local Australian brands, as you will be guaranteed better quality and fresher oil!
You can check out Cobram Estate here