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Plains Producer, Wednesday, June 25, 2014
275 Main North Road, Clare - 8842 2818
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The process is a patient one,
aided by Grant’s father, Barry, and
father-in-law, Darrel Smith, who
constantly keep the bins in close
range to allow fuent unloading.
From harvesting, Grant drives
the olives down to Willunga for
processing into oil.
“They are all processed within
24 hours of harvesting,” he said.
It is the processing part that
tends to be the major yet neces-
The fruit is washed and sepa-
rated from leaves, before going
through a hammer mill where it
is ground into a paste.
The paste is fed into a malaxer,
before going through a decanter
using a centrifuge to separate the
residual water from the oil.
Grant explained companies
then buy the oil to blend and
bottle, meaning any Australian
brand could contain oil from his
That said, he suggested extra
virgin is generally the high qual-
ity Australian product, whereas
anything cheaper tends to be
blended with lower quality im-
The price per litre can also
fuctuate to a certain degree.
“It can be volatile and changes
a bit from the markets in Spain, if
they have good crops,” Grant said.
His best crop, of about 60
tonnes a few years ago, only
yielded 16 per cent oil, while the
crop of 40 tonnes last year returned
20 per cent oil content.
The Mügges formerly ran a
Murray Grey stud and broadacre
cropping venture but come close
to the turn of the millennium, a
comment from a tradesman sug-
gesting olives would grow well in
the area piqued Grant’s interest.
He started planting the orchard
in 1998 and had his frst harvest
three years later.
The orchard is also irrigated
utilising water from the town
common effuent system.
Of the 2000 trees he planted,
Grant estimates he has probably
lost 10, mostly due to wind.
Generally, the olive tree is a
“They’re not too bad, they may
get scale every now and then,”
“They also need a bit of water
but the summer rains this year
have been good.
“I’ve seen trees growing in the
ballast of railway lines, I reckon
they’d grow just about anywhere.
“The trees like a mild spring
and tend to fower in October but
they don’t like temperatures over
36 degrees much.”
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WHO has been makin’ the best
bacon in South Australia? Mathies
Meat Shoppe in Clare!
For the second consecutive year,
Mathies was judged top SA bacon
producer of “full rashers” and sec-
ond in “short cut” at the Australian
BaconAwards (ABA) held in Sydney
“We are really pleased to have won
these awards, as we pride ourselves
on our bacon – especially the full
rasher,” butcher and business owner,
Jason Mathie, said.
The ABA were held as part of
Bacon Week, which runs from June
22-28, both initiatives of Australian
Pork Limited (APL.)
As part of the competition, Jason
had to make and cook his bacon (to
about 65 per cent cooked), slice it,
then send it to Sydney to be judged
over two days by the Baron of Bacon,
Horst Schurger, who has a Masters
degree in butchering and smallgoods,
and top chefs, Paul McDonald and
All entries from around the coun-
try were made from 100 per cent
Australian pork, and were judged as
both raw (as we purchase from the
shop,) and cooked products (fully
cooked by the judges).
So where does Jason get his
“While we source our other pork
products from around our district,
our bacon middles come fresh from
an Adelaide wholesaler. We only use
SouthAustralian pork – no imports,”
“We cure it here in a soaking brine,
which takes fve to seven days, then
smoke and cook it which takes about
three quarters of a day.”
While there are many other
favours, Jason’s bacon is always
smoked with red gum, and his cus-
tomers love it.
“It has a great favour – not too
salty or too smoky – we have a
consistent favour, and it’s what the
customers like, which is the most
important thing for us,” Jason said.
Jason’s bacon is also used in many
local cafes and restaurants.
Jimmy Greet, one of Jason’s
butchers, is the bacon guru.
“Jimmy has been making ba-
con for more than 20 years and
has found what works, providing
a consistent product every time,”
Bacon Week aims to celebrate
and highlight the quality of Austral-
ian pork, and also draw attention to
the competition our pork faces from
More than two thirds of bacon sold
in Australia is made from imported
subsidised pork, so shoppers are
being encouraged to buy Australian
bacon by checking if the product
has Product of Australia or the pink
PorkMark logo on it.
We don’t want our pork to face the
chop, so next time you’re in Clare,
trot in and see Jason and Jimmy for
a real bacon treat!
MATHIE’S Meat Shoppe owner, Jason Mathie, pictured with his
store’s award-winning bacon.
shows Mathie's is
makin' best bacon The good oil
LEFT: Barry Mugge
and Darrel Smith
show the harvested
olives, while (above)
mounted machine in
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