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Olive oil from Jaén
Jaén is the largest producer of olive oil in Spain and also throughout the world. Only the province of Jaén produces more than the second largest producer, Italy. With more than 550,000 hectares of olive groves and more than 60 million trees, it produces 20% of the world’s olive oil, and 78% of the total farmland in Jaén is used for olive cultivation. The province of Jaén proclaims itself as the World Capital of Olive Oil, a financial value of 300 million euros.
The Picual variety is the Queen
The most common variety of olives in the province is Picual, although other varieties such as Royal, Arbequina and Cornicabra are also used. It has three PDOs: Sierra de Segura, Sierra de Cazorla and Sierra Mágina. Their lands are covered by more than 60 million olive trees that extend from the plain near the Guadalquivir River to the point where they merge with the pine forest of the mountains. The province of Jaén could be crossed by a squirrel without putting one foot on the ground (old saying referred to all the Iberian Peninsula in antiquity).
Oleoturism in Jaén
The importance of the olive in Jaén is amazing, and the regional government of Jaén has begun to promote the “oleoturismo”: the tourism of olive oil. In the Oleo Tour you can visit oil mills, specialized shops, farms where guests can stay, spas with olive oil treatments, tour operators offering 4 × 4 safaris between the plantations and modern and elegant restaurants, especially Canela en Rama in Linares, which show the qualities of local extra virgin olive oil in their menus.
An ocean of trees
Jaén hosts a large number of events related to Olivo and Olive Oil. The International Olive Oil Fair is the most important international event on olive oil and its production, or the International Conference on Olive Oil and Health (CIAS) and the International Award for Cooking with Olive Oil Jaén, Paraíso Inside.
This large amount of olive trees makes Jaén an exuberant and fertile land, in which the extension of olive groves barely allows the visitor to see the earth beneath them, forming a silvery green mantle as common as a sea of olive trees, an impressive view the region of La Loma due to its prominent position on the meadows of the Guadalquivir and Guadalimar rivers.