Culinary tradition of southern Spain: extra virgin olive oil, a reflection of ancestral know-how
In southern Spain, extra virgin olive oil is much more than just a culinary ingredient. It is a real gastronomic treasure, a symbol of the richness of the Mediterranean heritage and the product of ancestral know-how. From centuries-old olive groves to traditional presses, passing by passionate producers, embark on a journey to the heart of the olive oil tradition in Spain, where green gold is both a cultural heritage and a source of benefits. for health.
Mediterranean green gold: extra virgin olive oil, an exceptional product
Extra virgin olive oil is obtained from cold-pressed olives, which best preserves the organoleptic and nutritional qualities of the fruit. This type of oil is rich in health-promoting monounsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-9s, as well as antioxidants and vitamins. But not all products are created equal, and the quality of extra virgin olive oil depends on many factors, such as the variety of olives, the growing and harvesting conditions, and the know-how of the producers.
Spain, which accounts for almost 50% of the world’s olive oil production, is particularly renowned for the quality of its extra virgin olive oil. In the south of the country, the Andalusia region is often considered the cradle of this ancestral tradition. Its fertile lands and Mediterranean climate provide ideal conditions for growing olive trees. Numerous protected designations of origin (PDO) guarantee respect for traditional production methods and the traceability of the product, from the field to your plate.
The artisanal know-how of the producers
In Andalusian villages, olive oil producers perpetuate ancestral know-how, passed down from generation to generation. Olive harvesting is usually done by hand, to avoid damaging the fruit and preserve its quality. The olives are then transported quickly to the presses, where they are cold pressed to obtain a first pressing extra virgin oil, rich in aromas and flavors.
The choice of olive variety is also crucial for obtaining quality extra virgin olive oil. Among the many varieties grown in Spain, some are particularly prized for their taste qualities, such as Picual, Hojiblanca or Arbequina. Each of these olive varieties gives the oil specific characteristics, ranging from a fruity and herbaceous taste to spicy or bitter notes.
The health benefits of extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is known for its many health benefits. Indeed, it is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid (omega-9), which help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). It also contains polyphenols, antioxidant compounds that help protect body cells against oxidative stress and inflammation.
A staple of the Mediterranean diet
It is one of the star ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, renowned for its beneficial effects on cardiovascular health and longevity. Many scientific studies have shown that people following this type of diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish and olive oil, have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and of certain cancers.
Extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen
It is particularly appreciated for its unique flavor and nutritional qualities. It can be used both to season salads and vegetables and to make marinades or sauces. It is also delicious simply eaten on a piece of bread, as a tapenade or as an accompaniment to a pasta or fish dish.
To take full advantage of the benefits and flavors of extra virgin olive oil, it is important to choose a quality product and keep it in good conditions. Do not hesitate to take advantage of the advantageous rates during an olive oil promotion. Prefer organic extra virgin olive oils with a certified geographical origin (PDO), and keep them in a dark glass bottle away from light and heat.
Conclusion: extra virgin olive oil, a precious heritage to preserve
Extra virgin olive oil is the fruit of ancestral know-how and a unique terroir, which deserves to be valued and preserved. By choosing a quality extra virgin olive oil, certified organic and of protected geographical origin, you not only contribute to supporting local producers and the culinary traditions of southern Spain, but also to taking care of your health and from that of your loved ones. So do not hesitate to integrate this precious extra virgin olive oil into your daily diet, and let yourself be seduced by its bewitching flavors and its invaluable benefits.