HFG editor Andrea Duvall tastes a slice of heaven splashed with olive oil.
My new favourite sweet treat is getting some strange stares from people – it is a wedge of orange with, wait for it, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and shake of cinnamon. Yep, delicious! I discovered it recently when I visited the olive groves of Cobram Estate, where olive oil maker, Leandro Ravetti, showed me this classic Spanish snack. I swear it truly tastes like a little slice of heaven. And, here’s another trick – if you add a splash of olive oil onto a piece of dark chocolate, it masks the chocolate’s bitterness, allowing the creamy and sweet flavours to shine. Go on, try it!
As we understand more about the foods that keep us healthy, extra virgin olive oil has a hallowed place. It is rich in antioxidants and when poured onto our salad or vegies, helps our digestion extract more nutrients from our food.
But not all olive oils are the same. I’ll be the first one to admit that, like a lot of us, I once thought that a ‘light oil’ meant it was a healthier choice. Now I understand that it is a by-word for light on health benefits, having been put through heat and solvents to extract the last remaining drops of juice from the exhausted olive.
So the lesson is to always opt for good-quality extra virgin olive oil. And that peppery taste is part of the magic – it’s the taste of the antioxidants hitting your taste buds. Quality Australian extra virgin olive oils have a high smoke point of 200-220C. So it’s a healthy choice for all your cooking needs.
The ‘smoke point’ is the term that describes the temperature at which the beneficial antioxidants start to break down and harmful free radicals are created.
For more information on cooking oils, you can find our guide in the July issue of Healthy Food Guide magazine.