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On our editor’s radar this month

Our editor, Chad, is obsessed with olive oil and potjie this month. Read on to find out why.

Here are a few of my favourite things to eat, try out and follow this month!  

Gone are the days of shopping the same oil for your pantry each month. With the great selection of locally produced olive oils we’re spoilt with in South Africa, I take my time finding ones I can treasure…. those that are delicious and nutritious. When I find one I like, I treat it like absolute gold.  

Stop and taste the olive oil

Since South Africa produces many of the world’s best-tasting extra virgin olive oils, it makes sense to stop and savour its aroma and flavour. Yes, olive oil tastings are a thing! Many Western Cape olive farms offer tastings where you can expect to sample extra virgin olive oils of various styles (smooth and nutty or bitter and peppery?) plus olive tapenades, jams and spreads.  

First, you’ll be poured a bit of oil in a small glass. Cup the glass to warm the oil and swirl it. Give it a sniff and pick out scents – is it fruity or grassy? Next, take a sip, note the flavours and swallow. Is it pungent, peppery or smooth as it goes down? Not only is it loads of fun and delicious to do, but you’ll be better prepared to pick the best product next time you’re faced with an aisle of oils.   

From dressings to marinades, salsas to pestos, a quality olive oil is a pantry investment 

And the world’s top olive oil tasters think this SA oil is the best out. De Rustica Estate’s Coratina Extra Virgin Olive Oil was named the Best Single Cultivar Oil from South Africa – and in the world – at the latest EVOOLEUM Awards in Spain.  

It came out tops after a panel of 26 judges from 10 countries judged over 1 000 samples of olive oil from around the world. So the fact that South Africa come out on top is quite exceptional! Nonetheless, the estate says it is a major achievement not just for De Rustica, but for the South African olive oil industry, too. Humble, and delicious!  

Hot pot

If you haven’t invested in a cast iron potjie pot already, then now is as good a time as any! Need more convincing? Then check out the flavour-packed recipes in The Art of Potjie. Plus, you’ll be thrilled how handy they can be when loadshedding strikes – as well as that age-old winter craving for something hearty on a chilly night!   

The trick with cast iron is that you need to take very good care of it. If you’re using a brand-new pot, take care to “seal” it first: wash it out with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and soap and then rinse.  

Then, coat the inside of the pot with cooking oil and heat until smoking. Wipe the inside clean with kitchen paper and you’re good to go! This helps to protect it against rusting over time.   

Did you know that these pots are categorised by numbers, according to the amount of people it can serve? Here’s a quick guide to cut out and keep:  

Pot Size 1 – Serves 2 
Pot Size 2 – Serves 3-4 
Pot Size 3 – Serves 4-6 
Pot Size 4 – Serves 6-8 
Pot Size 6 – Serves 10 and more  

Photographs: Getty, Shutterstock, Supplied

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