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Most people don’t know that South Africa is a producer of a luxurious golden liquid: olive oil. The booming olive oil industry in South Africa is the handy work of an Italian called Ferdinando Costa who took it upon himself to plant an olive grove in Paarl in the very late 1890s. The grove flourished and soon, by 1925, he had a large scale olive oil production. In the 1930s his business was pressing olive oil using an Italian mill and making waves in the global olive oil industry. It’s not just Ferdinando who is responsible for SA’s olive oil production though. Around 70 years later, another Italian by the name of Guilio Betrand imported thousands of olive trees from Italy and planted them in Somerset West. They didn’t know it in the very beginning, but together, these 2 Italians started what is now the thriving Saffa olive oil industry.

Olive Oil

Where is Olive Oil Produced in South Africa?

Now that you’re thinking about it, do you know where South African olive oil is made in the country? In 2018, the stats tell us that South Africa had around 170 registered olive growers. Where are they? With mention of Ferdinando and Guilio planting their groves in the Western Cape, it makes sense to think that all South African olive oil is produced there. While that is largely true with 93% of olive oil in the country coming from the Western Cape, other provinces also contribute to the national production. All of the provinces in SA, excluding KZN, produce between 1% and 3% of the country’s olive oil. The global olive oil industry is worth $12 billion per year and South African has a nice chunk of that.

South African Olive Oil

SA’s Best Olive Oil Brands

The sheer number of recipes with olive oil in them tells us that South African olive oil is produced for consumption. With a good quality olive oil, someone can whip up a delectable treat in a few minutes, but which olive oil do you choose when doing your grocery shopping? When you do a spot of shopping, you will notice that there are various brands of olive available and some of them appear to come from overseas. As they say, local is lekker, so let’s take a look at the best olive oil brands in South Africa.

  • Lapithos
  • Babylonstoren
  • Oakhurst
  • Vigne d’Or
  • Mardouw
  • Anysbos
  • Wildekrans keerweer EVOO
  • De Rustica

Now for the fun part… what can you make with South African olive oil? If you scour the internet, you will find a wide variety of recipes with olive oil, but let’s make this one a little more fun.  We are about to share our secret chocolate olive oil cake recipe with you!

Olive Oil Cake Recipe

This chocolatey delight will absolutely enthral your taste buds. And the best part is that it is also quite easy to make. This recipe makes 8 to 12 slices… Let’s jump right in.

What you need:

  • 150ml of olive oil
  • 50g of sifted cocoa powder
  • 125ml boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g of ground almonds (you can substitute 125g of plain flour too)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 22cm or 23cm cake tin

What to do:

  • First, preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  • Grease the cake tin (springform tins are best) with a small amount of olive oil.
  • In a jug, sift the cocoa powder and then add the bowling water while whisking. The result should be a thick (but still runny) chocolatey paste.
  • Whisk the vanilla extract into the jug and then set it aside to cool.
  • Combine the ground almonds, pinch of salt, and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
  • Beat the eggs, olive oil, and sugar in a bowl for 3 minutes. The result should be a thick fluffy cream.
  • Add the cocoa mixture to the bowl and continue beating the mixture.
  • Slowly add the ground almond mixture to the bowl too.
  • Give the chocolatey batter a stir and scrape the sides down before carefully pouring and scraping the batter mixture into the prepared cake tin.
  • Bake the mixture for around 45 minutes or until the sides seem well set. The very top of the cake may seem slightly damp – that’s completely normal.
  • Leave the cake in the tin, but remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool. When the cake is sufficiently cooled, use a spatula to ease the cake out of the tin. Allow to cool for a few more minutes. 

All that’s left to do is serve and enjoy! Yum! You can serve this cake cold or warm with ice cream or custard. For a bit of added interest, add some strawberries and other fruit too.

Get Your Financial & Tax Emigration Right First Time Around

Preparing for emigration is much like following a recipe. Everything needs to be done meticulously and at the right time. If you are planning to emigrate from South Africa, or have already landed on foreign soil, and want to finalise your tax and financial emigration, FinGlobal is just the team to approach. We have almost a decade of experience in helping South African expats across the globe get their financial affairs in order when emigrating. Whether you just need a bit of advice or require a full service from a professional, we are here to help. All you need to do is contact us at a time that is convenient for you. Give us a call or send us an email and one of our friendly consultants will assist you further.