I caught up with Kieren Metts of Columbus-based (more specifically, Grandview Heights) The Olive Orchard Friday at Whole Foods. I was fortunate to have a chance to taste several of their olive oils. It’s quite something to sample many varieties of what is essentially the same product. The differences between an olive oil from one orchard versus another are quite striking. It was a pleasure to learn a bit more about one of the most basic and oft-used ingredients in my kitchen.
Kieren informed me that each of The Olive Orchard’s oils are single estate oils, a lot like wine. The oils origins ranged from Greece, to Italy, to Chile, to Turkey and South Africa. The harvesting and processing methods of their producers are meticulous as well. The olives in Turkey are hand harvested and pressed within hours of harvest. The same goes for the impressive and award winning Sicilian Extra Virgin olive oil from the Cutrera Estate. This is the olive oil that is in Jeni’s Splendid’s Olive Oil and Sea Salted Pepita (tremendous combo).
I liked the Greek Extra Virgin olive oil. I thought it was a nicely balanced flavor for everyday cooking. The Sicilian EV was super green and almost grassy, and would be tasty as a drizzle over steamed asparagus or lightly cooked carrots.
The Olive Orchard oils are available at Columbus-area Whole Foods, The Hills Market and online.