18 Sep

Kiwi olive oil for US gourmets

By Kay Blundell,
Olive oil from Kapiti and Hawke’s Bay has been picked to grace the tables of an exclusive 3000-member olive oil club in the United States.

David Rosengarten, one of the world’s leading authorities on food, wine and cooking and a leading light on American television’s Food Network, has selected extra virgin oil from Kapiti Olives and Matipiro in Hawke’s Bay for his exclusive Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club.

Rosengarten, who writes on food and wine for The New York Times, Gourmet magazine, Food & Wine, Harpers Bazaar and The Wine Spectacular, sent colleague and olive oil expert TJ Robinson to check out New Zealand oils.

The two brands he selected also won top awards in last year’s New Zealand Olive Oil Awards.

Matipiro was asked to send 5600 bottles of its extra virgin oil.

Sales and marketing manager Jane Churchwell said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be selected by America’s top foodie and for our olive oil to be presented to the very exclusive New York olive oil club.”

Kapiti Olives has sent 2800 bottles of their extra virgin oil to New York. Owner Graeme Harris said he hoped it was just the beginning.

“We are completely overwhelmed by this fantastic opportunity,” he said.

Because New Zealand oils were pressed during the northern hemisphere’s off season, club members would be getting fresh oil at a time when northern hemisphere oils were six months old, he said.

The climate on the Kapiti Coast, particularly the lack of frosts as well as high ultra-violet levels, was ideal for growing

olives with huge flavours, he said.

Kapiti Olives started up about six years ago. It comprises four growers who have about 8000 trees between them.

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