Olive growers have the good oil

Natalie BrownThe West Australian

If you are one of the 152 olive growers who proudly entered oil in the Perth Royal Show, the results are looking good - unless it smelt of wet dog, mouldy hay or peanuts.

The judges this year have been sniffing and sipping their way through entries from around WA and interstate and say the results have been some of the best yet.

The panel of 15 judges mark the oils out of 100 for freshness, aroma, taste, bitterness and pungency.

The smell is the first thing the judges test.

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A top quality oil could have a bouquet of cut grass, fresh hay or morning dew, but those making noses turn up could include a muskiness or smell of wet dog, peanuts or mushrooms.

Perth judge Isabelle Okis never tires of tasting olive oils, that is done in between bites of apple to cleanse the palate, but she jokes how she can instantly spot a bad one at a dinner party.

Ms Okis, whose judging skills have been called on for national and Italian events, said WA olive oils were usually of a high standard.

"The oils this year were beautiful," she said.

"There's going to be a lot of gold medals this year, which speaks for itself."

Each judge will blind-taste about 30 oils during the Show.

This year, entries range from traditional styles to flavoured oils such as chilli and citrus.

Winners will be announced at a presentation dinner on September 21 and displayed in the IGA Pavilion during the Show.

'There's going to be a lot of gold medals this year, which speaks for itself.'" Olive oil judge *Isabelle Okis *

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