To get good Extra Virgin Olive Oil you once had to go a lot further than Griffith in south-central NSW. Not any more. Gone are the days when you popped to the supermarket once a year for a ten-litre can of Extra Virgin shipped from Italy.

“Excellent oil and great packaging.” – Maggie Beer

The Mancini family are among a select few Australia providores perfecting the art of EVOO and foodies are embracing the goods from their homegrown groves. The Little General culinary oil is produced in a pocket of rural Australia with conditions ideal for olive trees.

Sam Mancini is the grower and sister Nadia says he has the magic touch. Sam took over the farm from their father, who purchased the property in the 1950s. Since switching from sheep farming in 2000, Sam has personally overseen planting, harvesting and production processes. The family is incredibly proud of their “hard-working migrant story” and are happy to say the olive oil is their liquid gold.

Maggie Beer says the stuff is excellent and Mark Best at Sydney’s Marque likes to use a drop or two for finishing. Nadia loves the “liquid gold” drizzled over roasting winter vegetables, the heat releasing a grassy nose and full-bodied olive aroma. She says the oil is so fresh you could drink it straight.

Where: Griffith, NSW. For stockists see www.thelittlegeneral.com.au

Did you know: Maggie Beer finds The Little General packaging as cute as we do. The little boy dressed as a soldier on the label is none other than grower Sam Mancini in his early days.

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