All the award-winning oils you need to check out. Picture from saolive.co.za

Olive oil is no longer just used for cooking. 

Its varied health benefits and different flavour intensities make this liquid gold a staple in many kitchens. 

It’s no secret that South African consumers are blessed when it comes to the wide range of high quality of locally produced olive oils available to us. 

As the industry continues to grow, the South African Olive Oil Industry Association and Absa have joined forces to give recognition to the country's top extra virgin olive producers. 

93 oils were evaluated for the 2018 SA Olive Awards and awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals. 

The Absa Top 10 oils were selected from the SA Olive gold medal winners

The oils were individually blind tasted by an international panel of experts in a controlled environment over a period of four days. 

Sue Langstaff, a sensory specialist from California, led the panel for the second year in a row. Olive oil experts, José Mingo from Chile and Pablo Canamasas from Argentina, completed the international contingency. 

South Africa was represented by Reni Hildebrand and Benedetta Lami – both regular faces on international judging panels – and SA Olive tasting panel members, Birgitta Hofmeyr and Hazel Henman.

The top 10 oils according to their taste profiles 

Delicate

  • Rio Largo Gold EVOO
  • Tokara Mission EVOO
  • Olyfberg EVOO Blend A

Medium

  • De Rustica Estate Collection Frantoio
  • Serrado EVOO
  • Oakhurst EVOO
  • Zoetigheyd Daniel’s Delish EVOO

Intense

  • Mardouw XXV Intense EVOO
  • Porterville Olives Andante Intenso EVOO
  • Marbrin Farm Directors Reserve EVOO