Olive oil in Spain
Each national kitchen has its favorite product. As in many countries of the Mediterranean, in Spain, this product is olive oil. For the year, the Spaniard consumes it about 12 kg, while the rest of the planet, on average, just under half a kilogram. Do not talk about Tunisians who are leading – 19 kg per resident of the country per year.
According to the results of the 2018/2019 season, the Spaniards received 1.6 million tons, this is 51% of world volume. Season 2019/2020 By the time of publication of this article, it has not been over yet, but most likely, the Spaniards will further break away from competitors’ countries.
Being the main supplier and manufacturer, the country tries to keep its position. Spaniards are strictly followed by a high production culture and monitor the quality.
Probably, every second tourist is lucky from Spain olive oil. In terms of tracing tourists, it can only be compared with Hamon, Spanish cheeses, sweets and fruits. Our rating of the most interesting gifts Read the article "20 best gifts from Spain".
Olive oil in Spain is very high quality, this is not brought to us. Not the best varieties. According to statistics, only 20% of Olive oil squeezed in Spain has the highest variety, the rest is not very high quality. Spaniards need to sell it somewhere. On the shelves of our stores to meet good Spanish oil from olives – a big rarity.
How to choose the right olive oil in Spain’s stores (and maybe for domestic information this information will be used)? What is its benefit for the body? What is the process of cultivation and production? These and other questions will respond in our article.
Olive appearance in Spain
For the first time, olive trees on the Iberian Peninsula were planted by Phoenicians in the 8th century BC.NS.
Later, in the era of the Roman Empire on the lands of today Andalusia (and then the provinces of Betika) olive oil becomes not only a popular product in the Andalusia itself, but also the most important and increasing object of export. Andalusia did not lose their leading positions throughout the history of Spain and did not lose these days.
Of all the regional cuisines of Spain provinces, the Andalusian cuisine uses the most olive oil, it is even difficult to remember the Andalusian recipe, which would not contain it. If you take the whole country, then in Spanish cuisine every second dish contains olive oil.
Varieties of olives and oil producers
Spanish oils are most popular, made of the following varieties of olives: Arbeckin, Korvorbabra, Blanket, Ohblack. And each region of Spain is famous for its variety.
The main Spanish regions where oil from olives produce: Andalusia, Catalonia, Castilla-La-Mancha, Aragon, Extremadura, Valencia.
Let’s call several companies whose products are noted by the highest awards at international competition contests. This "OleoesEPA" is the leader in the "best fruit taste" nominations, the "best bright green oil". Photos of bottles with this oil on the left, click on the photo to enlarge.
Finca La Torre-Finca La Reja and "Hacienda Queiles" – the first Quality Award "Mario Solinas", a kind of "Olive Oscar".
You can burn these names and search for them on labels. The price, of course, will be high, but the quality is worth.
Growing olives in Spain
About 260 varieties of olives are growing in Spain and only 24 of them are used to produce oil.
The fourth part of olive plantations around the world is located in Spain, they occupy an area of 20,300 kV.KM., What is comparable to the sizes of some states: Slovenia, Israel, Macedonia. On these plantations, 300 million trees are growing, that is, each Spaniard accounts for 6.5 olive trees.
The province of Hyan in Andalusia is leading in Spain: 20% of the world volume of olive oil is manufactured here. In the province there are more than 66 million olive trees. Here is the most famous olive valley between the mountains of Sierra De Cazorla and Sierra Magina.
Vintage in Spain is collected in October-February. In early October, gather green olives from plantations, at the end of winter – ripe dark. From one adult tree, on average, about 35 kilograms of fruits are going for the season.
9 kilometers from the town of Bayes in the estate of the 17th century, the olive museum is open. In 1848, when the estate was owned by Clana Koyyado, the family landed here about 100 thousand olive trees in order to establish oil production.
The museum building was designed by Thomas Bartanami, a talented Polish engineer. He worked on the creation of the first railway in Spain. The museum contains the first tools for treating olives, technical devices that allow oil to squeeze out fruits.
Production process today
Even at the beginning of the 20th century, trees planted at a distance of 10 meters from each other. Collected yields manually, placing bedspread under the crowns of trees.
Nowadays, scientific and technical progress makes it easy to simplify the process of harvesting. Trees are planted for a smaller distance so that the equipment can be optimally without loss to harvest. Significantly increases the yield of the planting system of trees 7×7 and 7×5 m. To each tree, watering is supplied.
A huge umbrella is attached to tractors; it is put under the crowns of the tree. Then the tree itself shakes the vibromotor (it is in the same tractor). Workers knock out olives also with sticks with trees, helping the technique to collect a crop completely.
But this is not all the trick production of the product. There should be no more than 3-6 hours between harvesting and its processing. For treating olives and pressing oil requires expensive equipment, so small farmers are combined into cooperatives and build common processing factories.
First, the olives are cleaned from leaves and other garbage, then wash. Only then they fall on the scales. Each party takes a small amount of fruits for quality analysis.
In special automatic centrifuges, olives are heated (or cooled) to a temperature of 25-27 degrees. This is the so-called "cold spin", and such olive oil refers to the category "Extra Virgin". Here are separated from the cake. The whole process is automated.
After the oil is defended in special metal canes. The last stage is to spill in the barrels, of which it then falls into the bottles. Factory exhibit their product for the best oil contest region.
From olives, the Spaniards manage to produce pate and make candles. We will not talk about cosmetics and speak, women know about the miraculous properties of cosmetics with the addition of olive oil and how expensive such cosmetics costs.
"But where bones go, because they remain a huge amount?" – you ask. Of course, not thrown. They are used as fuel: some part leave a factory, the rest is sold for home heating.
Categories of olive oil
In Spain, produce olive oil 5 categories. Let’s tell about each in more detail.
Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra squeeze out of the best varieties of olives, the way its production is a cold spin. This is the highest quality product. Acidness in it does not exceed 0.8%.
Aceite de Oliva Virgen – it is a cheaper variety, from the previous category differs only by acidity, which in it should not exceed 2%.
Aceite de Oliva This is a mixture of purified and natural products. Has neutral smell and taste. Acidness in it does not exceed 1.5%.
Aceite de Orujo get by pressing cake. Sometimes it is mixed with natural.
Aceite de Oliva Virgen Lampante. This product is called "Lampaded Oil". It is unsuitable for eating and is made from low quality olives. In the old days, it was used as fuel for anchitolock and lamps.
How to choose correctly
The benefits of olive oil for the human body are huge: it accelerates the metabolism, normalizes the work of the organs of the digestive system, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps strengthen vessels, reduces blood cholesterol indicators. And the vitamins contained in the product contribute, along with other properties, also to rejuvenate the body. But all this concerns a quality product, but how to choose exactly the highest grade on the store shelf?
For the quality of olive oil in Spain (as well as throughout the European Union), follows International Olive Council (International Olive Council). The main office of the organization is located in Madrid, the Spanish oil is followed first of all. And if the oil of a manufacturer is marked by higher awards in world competition contests, then in his delicious taste is not worth it and doubt.
And yet, to pay attention to ordinary tourists who have decided to bring from Spain as a gift or a close bottle of "Liquid Gold"?
Purchasate better in large supermarkets or in specialized stores. Souvenir shops we advise to beware.
The color does not play a special role, with the taste qualities of the product, it is not connected. Color can be from a slightly yellow to dark emerald depends on the variety of olives. Taste depends on the maturity of fruits, their varieties and from the region where they are grown.
The main parameter in determining the category is "acidity". Maximum acidity of the highest grade of olive oil – 0.8%. The higher this indicator, the lower the quality and worse taste.
And now think why in our stores on bottles does not indicate acidity.
When buying, pay attention to the label: it must contain a category entry. Look at the date of production: the younger, the more in the useful properties. Ideally, use the oil during the year after its manufacture. See that the oil is the last harvest, and not the previous.
Look at the label Place of Spill and Production Place. If the oil is bottled in the place of production, then this is a good sign.
Often, the "First Cold Press" inscription is present on the bottles. This means that it is produced using the "first cold spin". In fact, it is a deception of the purest water, although such an inscription is not officially considered a deception, but rather a tribute to tradition. Nowadays, the olives are not pressed more than once and at the same time the mass is heated a bit. Without such nuances in production itself, the process of oil production would be difficult.
And one more important point about taste qualities. If you want to try the real taste of olive oil, cook with it delicious dishes from vegetables or fish, then buy unrefined. Yes, it is a little bitter, has a smell, but it is real olive oil, without any impurities and chemicals.
Capacity should be dark, stored in a dry and cool, but not cold place. Under these storage conditions, the useful properties of the product are saved. Metal banks are better fit for transportation.
If you still buy oil in glass container, try to provide something soft in a suitcase than to lay a bottle. Employees of airports are not very careful about the baggage of tourists, we discussed these problems in the article "What to take tourist to Spain".
Home Store Olive oil in a cool and dark room. Tightly cover the cover.
Prices for "Liquid Spanish Gold"
Prices for good olive oil in Spain start from 4 euros and reach 20-30 euros per bank of 0.5 liters. Allocate a separate article in the Spanish trip budget do not have to.
For comparison, in Greece – 6-7 euros for 0.5 liters, in Tunisia – from 1.5 euros per bank 0,5l. In Italy, a liter can be bought for 3 euros.
Listening to our advice, you can distinguish the fake from the present quality product and to taste the present olive oil made from the best varieties of olives in Spain.
– Olive oil is a product with "low phytosanitary risks". Importing to the Russian Federation without restrictions, but the number must comply with the concept of "for personal consumption". Details in the article "What can be exported from Spain and how much";
– Prices for other foods in Spain, see our article "Prices for food in Spain".
Successful purchases during holidays in Spain, and read our interesting articles about this country (Links below).