Yes ladies, it’s officially Autumn so you know what that means? We can finally stop shaving our legs, painting our toenails and start eating cheese again, hallelujah! To mark this momentous occasion I thought I’d celebrate by eating my weight in cheese and olive oil, my two favourite things. The cheese we’ll get to later but first lets discuss olive oil, because I can’t get enough of the stuff. I drizzle it on everything, pasta, salads, soups and even my face occasionally. So it’s not really that surprising that I found myself at an olive oil tasting last week. How exciting, six little shooters of golden yellow elixir all lined up and ready to pour in my mouth, lovely jubbly. But before the swirling, smelling and drinking could begin I was stunned to learn that the majority of all Italian extra virgin olive oil on the market is actually fake!
Yes! So if you’re anything like me and tend to go for the cheaper but well-known brands from your local supermarket, chances are you’ve either been drinking:
A. Low quality olive oil falsely marked as extra virgin.
B. Olive oil that not only isn’t Italian but has been blended with oils from other origins.
C. Worst of all, your olive oil may not even be olive oil but flavoured and coloured vegetable oil.
Well that will teach me for choosing cost over quality although in all seriousness, this has got me pretty miffed. I put a lot of trust in the brands I buy so to find out that I could have been drinking flavoured vegetable oil all these years makes me very cross. Just goes to show that there are some things in life worth forking out for and olive oil is one of them. So from now on, I’m only going to use Pomora Olive Oil in all of my recipes. Pomora Olive Oil is made by either the loving hand of Antonio in Campania or Carmelo in Sicily. From £29 per quarter you could adopt one of Antonio’s or Carmelo’s olive trees and have authentic Italian extra virgin olive oil delivered straight to your door. To find out more click here.
Now lets get on with our olive oil tasting. When you taste olive oil you’re looking for three key dimensions, flavour, bitterness and pungency. Pungency may sound like a funny one but it’s essentially the pepperyness of the oil. A good olive oil will score relatively highly on all three dimensions whereas a poor quality olive oil will have little fragrance and taste. Once you know what a good olive oil tastes like you can start looking for worthy things to drizzle it over, like a hot melty camembert for example. So dig out the elasticated trousers and sink into a hot cheesy melt fest, It’s Autumn now people, bikini season is officially over. Cue big sigh of relief.
Whole Baked Camembert
Serves 2 / Takes 30 minutes
250g Vegetarian camembert (Waitrose essentials do a good one, click here)
1 garlic cloves
Roughly five sprigs of thyme
1 Tbs Pomora Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh crusty bread, celery, onion chutney and grapes (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (200°C Fan)
2. Take the camembert out of the box and wrap it.Pop the lid inside the bottom to help prevent leakage then put it back in the box. Spear the top of the cheese carefully with a knife in five places creating five deep slits. Insert a sprig of thyme into each one.
3. Peel a garlic clove and insert it into the cut closest to the middle.
4. Drizzle the top of the cheese with olive oil and pop on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until you can see that the cheese has melted all the way through.
5. Carefully fish out the garlic clove, discard and serve with crusty bread, celery, onion chutney and grapes.
If you’ve had a go at making my baked camembert or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org