Contadino olive farm
Warm hospitality is what you get when visiting Contadino olive farm at Falls Creek, NSW, Australia. Their cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and olives are known throughout Australia.
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil from Contadino olive farm
Contadino olive farm is one of Australia’s largest producers of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. A selected variety of olives are carefully pressed at a certain temperature immediately upon picking in order to preserve the nutrients and antioxidants. The others are preserved simply in brine with some flavoured in garlic and spices or with fennel and lemon.
Contadino means “farmer” in Italian and true to the name Bruno and Maria Morabito, owners of the 50 acre farm, come from traditional Italian families. Combine Maria’s cooking skills with Bruno’s knack for farming and you get the best in produce and cuisine for foodies who want an authentic Italian experience.
Tomatoes steal the show
Although their olives do steal the show, the couple also sell fresh produce grown at their farm such as eggplant, garlic, beans, sweet capsicums, chillies and naturally, tomatoes. No Italian family is complete without tomatoes. Not just any tomatoes, according to Bruno, but the best.
Maria recalls a customer who sought out their tomatoes for a dish she was to enter in a contest and won first prize.
These tomatoes are also made into sauces, chutneys and relishes using Maria’s special recipes.
Contadino has a range of three different pasta sauces made with these tomatoes – plain, with olives and capers and the third with eggplant.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Doctors are only just starting to discover how lycopene can help slow down or prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer as well as degenerative conditions associated with aging.
Lycopene is not manufactured by the body and is obtained only from food of the carotenoid family which are of bright colours such as yellow, orange and red. Among them tomatoes have a very high lycopene content, but lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when it has been subjected to heat. Hence cooked tomato products such as pasta and tomato sauce could actually be more beneficial to the body than raw tomatoes
Contadino’s eggplants are also popular. Customers may buy them as fresh produce or marinated. The marinated version takes several days to make, mainly due to drying it out in a natural process using a traditional press.
I had the pleasure of joining Bruno for a glass of home-made wine, which is not for sale, made from grapes grown on his farm. This was accompanied by local bread drenched in the Contadino olive oil with Contadino olives on the side. He also shared a little of that famous marinated eggplant making the whole meal divine.
“All our sauces, relishes, chutneys and jam use our own fruits and vegetables grown on our land,” said Maria. “I use only half of the sugar most people use to make jams as the flavours of our fruits already complement it so well.”
Bruno says, “People today don’t know how to value naturally grown produce. So we are glad we can offer not only healthy and fresh produce but a chance for people to come to our garden market right on our farm and see for themselves where their food is coming from.”
Bruno and Maria’s daughter, Domenica who has been helping to run the family business feels privileged she has a wealth of traditional farming and cooking methods to draw from.
“I intend to keep to these traditional methods of farming because the taste and health benefits of the end result is so good,” she said. “While we do have a steady stream of customers at our garden market, we also supply our product to a number of restaurants, farmers markets, retailers and wholesalers who mainly use our extra virgin olive oil and olives.
To learn more about Contadino olive farm visit http://www.contadino.com.au/