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Adelaide olive oil with a grave history

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A small batch of extra virgin olive oil made from olives grown at the West Terrace Cemetery has been bottled this week and will be sold to the public in what is believed to be the only commercial release of its kind.

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About 12 dozen bottles of the limited-edition extra virgin olive oil have been pressed from the fruit of 60 olive trees that have been growing at the city cemetery since the 1860s.

The trees are believed to be Olea Europaea planted by the cemetery’s first curator, Henry Brooks, who was a good friend of George Francis, the first superintendent of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

The olive oil was first produced commercially in 2013 but none was pressed last year.

Adelaide Cemeteries Authority will keep some of the 250ml bottles for gifts, but the remainder will be sold through Jagger Fine Foods at the Adelaide Central Market.

Adelaide Cemeteries Authority chief executive officer Robert Pitt says he is not aware of any other cemetery that produces its own olive oil.
The oil will be sold for $17.50 a bottle.

Jagger Fine Foods owner Robyn Siebert says she has received a number of inquiries about when this year’s batch of West Terrace Cemetery olive oil when be available.

“Customers like buying it for a number of different reasons,” she says.

“Some people have family members buried at the cemetery, others like it for the novelty value, while some nearby residents like buying product grown in the city.”

“It’s a good oil. The olives come from old trees which gives it a particular quality, much like aged vines produce high-quality grapes.”

The state-heritage-listed West Terrace Cemetery is one of Australia’s oldest capital city cemeteries and is the final resting place of more than 150,000 South Australians.

This article was first published on The Lead.

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