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Golden harvest tipped

Tuesday, 3rd March, 2015

Gourmet Products Co-Op chairman, Steve Flecknoe-Brown, with the olive trees that have put out a bumper harvest this year. PICTURE: Emily Roberts Gourmet Products Co-Op chairman, Steve Flecknoe-Brown, with the olive trees that have put out a bumper harvest this year. PICTURE: Emily Roberts

By Emily Roberts

Broken Hill Gourmet Products have started their harvest for this year and believe the end result will be “up there with the best”.

According to Co-Op chairman Steve Flecknoe-Brown, the first oil out of the press looks fresh and green. 

“It has a lovely fruity aroma and a tangy finish,” Dr Flecknoe-Brown said. 

“It may be the best we’ve made to date. It is certainly one of the first extra virgin olive oils made in Australia this year.”

Dr Flecknoe-Brown said the Co-Op was worried about the harvest.

“We had an interruption in water supply during the year,” he said.

“So we didn’t have a heavy burden, but every tree on the grove had fruit on it.

“We mustered up our members and some volunteers had gathered the fruit from the trees.”

There are 700 trees in the plantation.

“We realised how good the quality of the olives were, so we decided to pick them.

“We had to do it quickly, otherwise they would have been overripe.

“We are pleased all the fruit has come out plump and prime.

“There is a good mix of green and black olives which will give tangy oil.”

Another load of olives will be harvested in the coming weeks.

The harvested olives were taken to the Gourmet Co-Op’s press.

“The international standard is to press them within 48 hours, the Australian standard is within 24 hours - but we do it the day we pick them,” Dr Flecknoe-Brown said.

“The fresher the fruit, the livelier the flavour.”

Dr Flecknoe-Brown said the fruit goes through a number of different processes to secure the olive oil.

“They are winnowed and washed, then put into the press unit.

“The process is slow and gentle, which I think ensures such good olive oil.

“It is then all mixed and the oil is separated from the pulp.

“It goes into another tub and is left to settle, so any extra vegetable matter can be removed.”

The olive oil is sold around town including, Thom, Dick and Harry’s, Top End Meats, the Tourist Information Centre and Some Like It Hot.

“People can also contact us directly if they are interested in purchasing some olive oil.”

The product is of high quality and has won numerous awards.

“We have won awards in Europe, for three years in a row and we have received two out of three stars from the International Taste Quality Institute.

“We also received a silver medal from Tokyo - we are up there with the best.

“We held back last year, but we will be entering again this year.”

For more information or to order visit www.brokenhillgourmet.com.

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