Although it is obvious that price is an important factor when we choose the products to fill our shopping cart, it is a fact that more and more people are concerned about their health and investigate the properties and benefits of the products they serve at their table. In recent times, society has become aware about the importance of natural products. Among them, the olive oil has had an outstanding evolution, being one of those that has arisen more interest because it is an essential ingredient of gastronomy, in special Spanish gastronomy, to elaborate and present a huge amount of dishes. In fact, many gourmet restaurants use gourmet EVOO to provide the maximum quality to their dishes and to give to their customers an intense gastronomic experience that is also being practiced in private homes.
The extra virgin olive oil is, in fact, the juice of the olives. Immediately after harvest and subsequent washing, this juice is extracted by mechanical procedures, mainly crushed, beaten and centrifuged (press extraction is almost in disuse today). It is fundamental that this extraction process is carried out "cold", that means at a temperature lower than 27 Celsius degrees. In this way, all its gastronomic and organoleptic properties, aromas and flavours, will be preserved. We will have a healthy and exquisite product at the same time.
When the extra virgin olive oil is made through "cold press” process, the quantity obtained is smaller, but quality is higher. Besides, the acidity degree decreases and, the lower the acidity degree is, the better is the olive oil. This acidity degree will determinate whether the olive oil is:
- Extra Virgin
Acidity degree lower than 0.8o. Highest quality. The healthiest, exquisite and aromatic. Contains no additive or preservative elements. Its tasting note should be 6.5 or higher.
Acidity degree between 0.8 and 2o. Same properties as extra virgin but less organoleptic properties, aromas and flavours. Its tasting note should be at least 5.5.
First harvest Extra Virgin olive oil
These olive oils, also known as "Premium" are the most awarded in national and international competitions. This is a very special and genuine product and has a production process more complex and expensive. On the one hand, the green olives have not reached the optimum level for their collection, separating them from the branches is more difficult and the tree is more damaged. On the other hand, the efficiency is smaller, 7-8 kg. of olives are needed to obtain 1 litre of oil against 4-5 kg. of olives in the traditional oil.
The olives harvest takes place from mid-October to mid-November, according to the altitude of the cultivated area. As the olive is still green and has not reached its optimal maturity, the resulting oil has excellent attributes of colour, flavour, aromas, and a higher content of polyphenols. Tasting it is a real pleasure for senses.
What does “organic” EVOO, extra virgin olive oil, mean?
Organic farming is a production system that does not involve any kind of chemical element, such as fertilizers, pesticides or any product intended for pest control or disease control. In this type of agriculture, only natural elements and methods that are not damaging the soil and the environment are allowed. In addition, the olives that will be transformed into oil must be healthy and at their right level of maturation. Special methods and machinery are used in order not to degrade the quality of the olive oil at any point in the process.
Thus, the result is a natural, authentic and healthy product. The one tastier and the one that keeps better its nutritional properties. Its final cost is higher, but its exquisite taste and the benefits that the organic EVOO provides to our health makes it worth in price difference. To get these benefits, we should only consume about 3 tablespoons of olive oil per day. In addition, you should know that if taken raw, its properties and benefits are enhanced.