Luxury Travel Review

 Tokara The Olive Shed Frantoio oil  Tokara The Olive Shed Mission oil

The Olive Shed extra virgin olive oils Mission and Frantoio varietals

Photos: Tokara

Recently after lunch at Tokara, the increasingly well known Stellenbosch eatery on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, we had a chance to visit the adjacent olive factory, The Olive Shed. The cozy shop sells four kinds of premium limited release extra virgin olive oils: Frantoio, Leccino, Mission and Multi-Varietal. We brought back two small bottles (250 ml) of the Mission and Frantoio varietals to sample, and luckily they survived the transatlantic flight.

The medium-bodied Mission Varietal has a light peppery flavor. Tokara recommends it with steamed or boiled fish, pasta, salads, and for home-made mayonnaise. The Frantoio Varietal Frantoio has a fuller stronger flavor. It is recommended for red meats and broths.

Since they began producing olive oil in 2002, twenty hectares of olive trees (about 10,000 trees) have been planted on the three Tokara properties: the Tokara farm on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, Highlands in the Elgin district and Siberia in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus. A single olive tree produces about 40 kilos of olives representing about eight liters of oil per tree.

The olives are picked between March and July to capture the fruity and peppery flavours. Once pressed the olive oil is left in the tanks to settle for two months before bottling. To qualify as extra virgin, olive oils must not exceed the limit of .8 percent free fatty acids. Tokara olive oils are well below that threshold at .3 percent. 

Although they are only sold in South Africa, Tokara is able to ship orders abroad. Customers can order Tokara extra virgin olive oils by email, phone and fax.