I love olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil that is. I use it in virtually every dish I make. I marinade with it, I fry with it, I make into sauces, and I’d probably drink the stuff too if I had to.
So when I was sent a request a while back to try out some Njoi olive oil, and to say what I thought of it, I said yeah, sure ! Free stuff works for me… (whilst premising the acceptance with the clause that it would not necessarily be an endorsement, but a fully disclosed review of a product I’d been given). So that was all good, and Andrew (aka oil man), sent me 3 bottles of Njoi extra virgin olive oil.
The package turned up and I had:
1 bottle of regional New England
1 bottle of regional Greater Southwest
1 bottle of Njoi blue (a non region specific blend).
The first bottle I tried was the New England. It was a lovely light bodied oil with a peppery finish (pretty much what it says on the bottle), and went really well with the toasted turkish bread I was dipping into it. I would have loved to try more of it, but a minor mishap while I was packing up to move house meant that I smashed the bottle all over the kitchen tiles. I can confirm it makes a really great tile buffer though.
The next one I tried was the Greater Southwest (which is pretty large area when you take into account that it extends down from New Norcia all the way to Denmark) was less impressive in my book. It’s still got a nice smooth finish to it, and is perhaps more balanced than the New England, but lacks the finess that premium olive oil needs to stand out from the crowd. I did a mini experiment with some blind tasting of this oil, and the olive oil I use for cooking on a daily basis, Beaming Hill, using Sharon and Dan as guinea pigs. I asked the highly specific question of “which one tastes better”. Dan picked the Beaming Hill, while Sharon picked the Njoi. Inconclusive of course, but it shows that there was not a clear distinction between this wine and what is a cheaper extra virgin olive oil.
The Njoi Blue blend is one that I have tried in the past and really liked. It was actually one of the first premium olive oils I tried a few years ago, when I ran into the Njoi stall at the Perth Food & Wine Festival. It’s a nice medium bodied oil and is great for marinading and bbqing.
And so to the reviewing part of the post. Is this good olive oil ? Absolutely. Would I buy it on a regular basis ? Possibly. I am rarely frugal when it comes to spending money on quality food, but I go through so much olive oil, that I really do need something a bit cheaper for everyday use. This oil is great for special uses like dipping and sauces, and the odd salad. But I think I need something that can cater for the masses without breaking my bank balance.
If you’d like to try some of this oil, feel free to check out Andrews store where he can give you a good deal.