Eliunt took The Hungry Expat’s tastebuds on an international trip.
Thanks to a PR friend, I recently attended an olive-oil tasting at the temporary pop-up Eliunt shop at Westfield Bondi Junction. Eliunt produces high-quality extra-virgin olive oils (EVOOs) and has only lately launched in Australia.
While I waited for the tasting to begin, I did a loop around the kiosk, admiring the sleek, colourful, and sophisticated packaging and teasing my nose with each of the oils’ aromas. Eliunt produces 10 oils, each representing a different country: Sonoma (the US), Vitality (Australia), Oasis (Tunisia), Tradição (Portugal), Olivar (Spain), Anfora (Italy), Athena (Greece), Monte Ida (Turkey), Holy Oil (Jordan), and Ahiram (Lebanon).
Eliunt’s chef, caterer Carlos Pancorbo of Casa Pancorbo, who originally hails from Spain, led us through the tasting, pointing out the subtle but important differences between the oils, which range in colour from pale to bright yellow and in flavour from subtle and soft to strong and bitter. Everything at the tasting was delicious, such as the Manchego with just a drop of the Lebanese EVOO to the carpaccio with the Anfora oil. I also tried a number of the oils drizzled atop hummus and flatbread or simply with fresh baquette and a pinch of salt.
One one-bite entrée stood out for me, however, and has now entered my entertaining repertoire: a white anchovy perched atop a sea-salt potato chip, drizzled with just a touch of Eliunt’s Sonoma olive oil. What a brilliant, easy party starter! I am a huge anchovy fan, but my love doesn’t really extend to the higher-end white variety – I prefer the saltier, less vinegary, more plebeian little fishy. But this combination – the crunch of the potato chip, the texture of the fish, the pop of the vinegar, and just the right amount of salt – snacktastic! For those who completely shy away from anchovies, try this! It may bring you into the fold. (I converted my anchovyless brother-in-law and skittish 10-year-old niece.)
Eliunt is quick to point out that you don’t cook with these olive oils. They aim to enhance other foods and to be a finishing touch – a great last-minute drizzle for salads, pastas, grilled meats, grilled fish, veggies, fruits, cheese, and desserts.
(Hey … if your mum’s a gourmand and if you’ve been a bit slack leading up to Mother’s Day, these 60-ml EVOOs would make a nice addition to her kitchen. Maybe you can’t take her on a trip to Athens, but you can give her the Athena EVOO.)
The Eliunt pop-up kiosk has since popped back down, but you can still order Eliunt’s EVOOs online at www.eliunt.com. They come in packs of three, five, and 10. I got a three-pack: The American in me chose the Sonoma olive oil; my new Aussie roots grabbed the Vitality oil; and, because the Spanish tasting chef was so passionate about his country’s oil (it really was tasty), I opted for that one, too.