The Almazara is composed of a reception patio, where the olives are received. In this phase the olives go through a cleaning and washing process, to eliminate leaves, branches and soil. Then they are weighed, and they are ready for pressing. For this, a hammer press is usually used to crush the olives, and thus break the fibers that contain the oil. A paste is obtained which then passes to the blender to obtain a homogeneous texture.
The olive oil Mill, factory of EVOO
Until a few decades ago, the process of beating and crushing the olives was done at temperatures above 50º. The reason is simple, the higher the temperature, the easier it is to extract the oil from the olive. The disadvantage that has been discovered relatively recently is that the beneficial components of olive oil, basically polyphenols (natural antioxidants) and vitamins, are lost in hot conditions. A good part of the flavor is also lost, for which these polyphenols are responsible.
Therefore, the shake is currently carried out cold (<27ºC). At this temperature the paste is dense and it is difficult to extract the oil, which lowers the productivity. However, the new technologies allow each time to improve these performances and continue beating each time at lower temperatures. In this way, the extracted oil is dense and keeps all its properties intact.
The best olive oil mills
We have often explained that a good EVOO does not depend too much on the type of olive. It really depends on the “health” of the fruit, how it was treated while it was in the tree, and then the entire process, from collection to packaging. If this process fails at some point the taste and aromas of the oil can be compromised, and we will no longer have a Premium EVOO.
Oro del Desierto (Almería)
In the middle of the Desierto de Tabernas, its owner, Rafael Alonso and his team, have developed a series of technologies to hydrically stress the olive trees and maintain balance with the environment, taking advantage of almost everything. No need for fertilizers or pesticides, because thanks to being in the desert the “bugs” do not proliferate 🙂 In this way they get to bottle one of the best organic olive oils in the world every year.
Almazaras of La Subbética (Córdoba)
Probably the Spanish oil company that has won more national and international awards throughout its history. Each year they present a dozen contests and take a dozen awards! 🙂 They really have two spectacular brands, Parqueoliva Serie Oro and Rincón de La Subbética.
This mill has been able to take advantage of the benefits of its privileged enclave to collect high quality olives. But they also take care of all the phases of the process, so that the oil arrives from the olive tree to your table intact.
This oil mill in Jaén produces an EVOO of the Picual variety, which is really excellent. This oil, like good Picual, has a marked spicy and bitter, very balanced, as well as a high fruity. It is an olive juice to be taken exclusively in the raw, with toast, grilled vegetables or green salads.
How to shop olive oil
The next time we approach a street store to buy extra virgin olive oil, we should look at its label. Of course, the label must mention aspects as important as:
- the date of extraction
- full name and address of the Almazara (olive oil Mill)
In fact, we must know that there are large packing companies that buy whole crops of oils from different oil mills. These companies often have few scruples, and do not hesitate to mix them, good with average ones, to cheapen the final product. That is why it is unlikely that they will indicate the olive oil Mill of origin in their labels.