It is the highest category of olive oil. Cold pressing of green olives of early harvest to get an exquisite olive juice, with aromas of fresh grass, tomato, banana, pepper, and spicy and bitter taste, irrefutable proof that it is of quality.
Contrary to popular belief, the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has little to do with the variety of the olive and the place of origin. The varieties are generally all “good”, they differ in their aroma and flavor. For example, those from the south (Córdoba, Jaén, Almería), are usually spicy and bitter (Picual and Cornicabra), while those from the northeast (Lérida, Navarra, Zaragoza) are sweeter and fruity (Arbequina, Empeltre).
But what really matters is the PROCESS. How the Almazara or Cooperativa has cared for their olives, from the olive tree, until they enter the mill. The way of pressing, beating of the paste and spinning, and storage, bottling, and transportation. Everything counts! even if the facilities are clean of previous milling remains.
EVOO, where to buy it?
Certainly not in the big stores. Even if the oils sold there were once Extra Virgin, the fact that they have remained for days or weeks on the shelves, under the light of the fluorescents, will have turned them into simple Virgin olive oils (not Extra) or even worse. , with a beginning of rancidity. EVOO should be bought in dedicated stores, in the street or online.
EVOO, how to keep it?
With love! even better than good wines, because the oil is delicate. In fact, the better is our olive oil, the more a degradation potential it presents. Remember that olive oil is “alive”, and therefore, since the olive leaves the olive tree, it ages. You should always keep the bottles or carafes perfectly closed, open them a little so as not to let the oxygen inside them to renew.
In the case of large carafes, we recommend to pass smaller quantities of 500ml to tightly closed bottles, for the consumption of that week. And above all away from the light! It is your worst enemy. It should always be in a closet, and away from the stove.
EVOO and Health
In our blog you will find numerous articles about the benefits of olive oil for Health. But remember, it must be EVOO, otherwise its curative and preventive properties vanish. Remember that its polyphenols are those responsible for preventing (even cure!) Cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, and also for diluting the cholesterol plaques in our arteries.
But these molecules are very fragile, and they are found in small quantities only when the olive oil is Extra Virgin (EVOO), that is, of superior quality. Therefore, take it raw whenever you can, and do not heat it, to avoid its polyphenols literally evaporating.
The best brands
The world of olive oil is very competitive. When it is “vulgar” olive oil (to be avoided) it is the packing companies that seek to make whole harvests of defenseless farmers at very low prices. These companies are then mixed with other olive oils (or even other seeds!) to make them cheaper, but can be labeled as Extra Virgin. In addition, they are not too worried about the process, but they go from deposit to deposit, they are bottled in mass, and they are transported to the big stores.
Once there, the oil does not cease to suffer. He will spend days and weeks in the shelves, exposed to light and heat, until someone buys it. These oils are no longer Extra Virgin, despited its label. Even a less experienced taster will recognize negative attributes in both flavor and aroma. And probably a chemical analysis would also show that its degree of acidity has already exceeded 0.8º due to the degradation of oleic acid. And from 0,8º can no longer be labeled Extra Virgin.
We luckily dedicate ourselves to the real EVOO world, the one that is not bought in large stores. In fact, unfortunately, our best brands, such as Oro del Desierto, Rincon de la Subbética or Parqueoliva Serie Oro, are more successful abroad than in Spain 🙁 It’s sad but it’s like that. It seems that the Japanese and Americans have known to appreciate the true value of our olive juices, and are willing to pay up to 30-40 euros for a 500ml bottle! At the same level as the best wines.
Internet has been a new way for the user to access these oils that previously did not even know they existed. Indeed, before the Internet, only in Gourmet Stores on the street, these oils could be found, and of course, at very high prices. With the new online stores like AceitedelCampo the private consumer can buy extra virgin olive oil at a reasonable price, without intermediaries, from the Almazara (mill) to your table.