The Bidni cultivar is one the local olive varieties on Malta and gets its name from the rural village and surrounding area of Bidnija on the Island. The olive trees grow on the rocky poor quality alkaline soil found on the Maltese Islands which helps produce an olive oil very low in acidity and high in polyphenols.
This full flavoured olive has impressed olive oil producers who have tasted the oil and it has also been deemed outstanding by a professional Italian olive oil tasting panel who appreciated its very high quality.
The olives used for the Bidnija olive oil produced by the Mediterranean olive oil academy in conjunction with the Maltese olive farmers were picked in late September in the Madliena area of Malta over two days.
The olives were then sent to Sicily where they were pressed by a specialist olive mill and the resulting olive oil was sent to a certification panel in northern Italy where they judged the oil to be certified as extra virgin quality.
This lovely extra virgin olive oil is at the moment only produced in small quantities but there is a growing interest in Malta about their indigenous olive varieties and several groups are working on increasing the amount of oil that can be produced, but this will take some time as the new trees that are currently being planted will only start to produce reasonable amounts of oil in five years time.
We are lucky to work with the Spiteri family who have been growing Bidni olive trees for over fifteen years and more trees will be planted in January 2020 which will allow them to increase the amount of olive oil they can produce in the future.
The Bidnija extra virgin olive oil far exceeded our expectations in quality in this first year of our cooperation and production with Maltese olive farmers.
The flavour and aroma of the Bidnija extra virgin olive oil were well balanced and because of its low level of acidity and the levels of fat it is an excellent example of the fine olive oils than can be produced on the Island of Malta.
Currently we are planning to increase the amount of Bidnija extra virgin olive oil that we will be able to produce in the 2020 harvest as we have interest in this fine olive oil from several other countries in northern Europe.
We at the Mediterranean olive oil academy are also very pleased at the response to the Bidnija olive oil in the UK, and even though we only had a limited amount of olive oil this harvest we have been able to put a small amount aside for events at the prestigious Borough Market in London and for the olive oil festival that we will be holding in Malta next March.
Borough market is the premier artisan market in London and holding an olive oil appreciation event there will allow us to promote both the oils made from the Bidni olive variety and also the wonderful Maltese olive oils that are now being produced.