How to choose Olive oil

Olive oil is the juice obtained from cold-pressing  the fruit of the olive tree, the olive.
The elaboration process of the oil consists of several phases:

  • Collection: Collection of the fruit at the right time of maturation.
  • Sieving and cleaning: Carried out in the mill, at this phase the olives are prepared by removing the twigs or any other impurities that may alter the quality of the oil.
  • Milling: Grounding through an olive roller to break the tissues that store the oil, making sure not to break the pits.
  • Pressing: It should be performed only by physical or mechanical means.
  • Storage: the oil obtained is stored in tanks in special conditions of volume, temperature, lighting and possible organoleptic contamination.
  • Packaging: Regardless of the type of packaging used, oil should be properly labeled, specifying the following data

Product Specification:

  • Variety of the grapes.
  • Acidity, expressed in degrees.
  • Protected Denomination of Origin, if applicable.
  • Batch number and date of packaging.
  • To obtain quality oil it is of key importance to limit the time between harvesting and pressing to a maximum of 24 hours.
  • The optimal consumption period of olive oil is usually one year. After that, it won’t be dangerous for human consumption but it will lose its properties.

The following are the aromas of the most common varieties of olives. 

  • Arbequina: Almonds.
  • Cornicabra: Sweet, exotic fruits, avocado.
  • Hojiblanca: Sweet and fruity, bitter and slightly spicy.

Usage of olive oils depending on the variety.  

  • Arbequina: Cold dishes with predominance of the main ingredient, white garlic, gazpachos.
  • Cornicabra and hojiblanca: Hot dishes with strong flavors.
  • Picual: Sofritos and vegetable dishes.
  • Lechin: Game dishes and elaborations with aromatic herbs.

The following are the different types of olive oil marketed nowadays:

  • Extra virgin and virgin olive oil. Obtained by either mechanical or physical means at a temperature not higher than  75°F and an acidity degree equal to or less than 1.
  • Refined virgin olive oil. Obtained from ordinary virgin and lampante oils that go through a refinement process  to make them  suitable for human  consumption.
    They are not marketed directly to consumers.
  • Fine Virgin olive oil. Same elaboration process as the Virgin, only with an acidity degree equal to or less than 2.
  • Olive oil. A blend of extra virgin or virgin olive oil and refined olive oil.
  • Raw olive-pomace oil. Obtained from the pomace of olives, it needs organic solvents for its extraction.  Not suitable for human consumption.
  • Refined olive-pomace oil. Obtained through the refinement process of the olive-pomace oil  to make it suitable for human consumption. Not marketed directly to consumers.
  • Olive-pomace olive oil. Blend of extra virgin or Virgin olive oil and refined olive-pomace oil. Suitable for human consumption and marketed to consumers.