Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cobram Estate First Harvest Limited Release 2015 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review

Running a food & entertainment website has its perks. For starters, I get to review a wide variety of unique products... often from brands, I wouldn't normally have the opportunity to sample. When it comes to olive oil, I try to keep it simple: Either Trader Joe's Spanish Extra Virgin or a two-liter behemoth of Kirkland Signature. Rarely does my purchase come with an insert that reads, "Congratulations! You have purchased one of the world's freshest and healthiest Extra Virgin olive oils." That claim (which I can verify, is "dead-on") came with my 500 ml bottle of Cobram Estate Ultra Premium First Harvest. It's a Limited Release 2015 Extra Virgin olive oil that retails for $40 (Australian, about $30 US.) Aussie olive oil. Time to "live a little."

Before I begin in earnest, let's be honest: 30 bucks for just over 16 ounces of olive oil is steep. Then again, not everyone can afford to enjoy the very first cold-pressed olives of the season (from 10,000 miles away, no less.) The oil is greener than I'm used to seeing, and a lot richer. It's beyond fresh, and comes with a warning to use within four weeks of opening (for optimal taste, etc.)

After breaking the numbered seal (it even looks like a limited edition) I doused my go-to caprese salad with the First Harvest, and tasted hints of apple, pepper and tomato with a healthy bite of bitterness (sour, not sweet.) On its own (with a French baguette) the apple & tomato are slightly harder to detect, but the pepper becomes even stronger. The aroma is quite pleasant (almost tropical, with notes of a freshly picked tomato.) I read that it's supposed to smell like fresh cut grass; but odds are, I've lived in an apartment too long to notice the difference.

As far as cooking, First Harvest has almost none of the free fatty acids that plague lesser quality oils. That translates to higher smoke points (between 400-425°F, a lot higher than recommended frying temperatures) which makes it a great option for frying premium meats. One final test (Za'atar Pita Bread, at 350°F in an oven) passed with flying colors... turning an already zesty spice, on its head (pepper, pepper, pepper.) Given its cost however, I'd probably limit it to cold dishes... where the flavor is more noticeable.

Each bottle comes with a handy hinged-top pourer; and the moss green-colored oil is guaranteed to catch everyone's attention. Click here to find a US retailer, and click here to purchase online.

About Cobram Estate:
Known as pure ‘juice’ froth fruit of the olive tree, traveling through ancient times as the ‘nectar of the gods,’ olive oil has transcended through the generations to become a household staple. Cobram Estate keeps that original passion for purity in everything that they do with a refreshing worry-free attitude. Celebrating family, friends, good food & good health is more than just a motto; it’s a business practice. From Australia to the chill Cali shores, Cobram Estate is key to any start or finish to your meal.

From tree to table, Cobram Estate takes pride in protecting the integrity of their olive oil to ensure absolute freshness. With the best health benefits only the finest and pure olive oil can bring, it’s no wonder Chef Ian Curley partnered his Summer Dip Recipe with Cobram, upping the ante on traditional BBQ faire. Cobram Estate is jumping head first into the California kitchen flow. Why bother with an expensive night out and bill-splitting? Instead, bring a bottle home and try your hand at an Italian coleslaw with pork cotoletta. Learning something new together and sharing your week is essential to any friendship (and good food!)

Launching in 2016, Cobram Estate will be introducing an exciting line of olive oil from it’s new home - California. Having fallen quickly in love with the local and regional American communities, Cobram Estate has taken to its new home and incorporated new options with some very American stylings. Lemon-flavored mashed potatoes anyone?

Grabbing numerous awards from Japan, NYC, and the NYIOOC, Cobram Estate has a deep commitment for quality - taking care of every stage of production, from planting and picking, to processing and bottling. You can be sure Cobram Estate’s award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil is pure and fresh, not to mention cholesterol and preservative free.