History of Spanish Olive Oil

The first olive trees in the Iberian Peninsula were grown in Cadiz and Seville, Cádiz was an enclave visited by the Phoenicians, who provided important relationships through its port, like Sevilla, which was always navigable river Guadalquivir.

When the troops of Julius Caesar fought with Pompey Hispania , they camped among olive trees in the region surrounding the Alcor Sevilla , traditional site of these trees and famous for its excellent olive oil . The word Córdoba means oil mill and mentions of olive groves and the quality of olive oil produced by them was already famous since Roman times , to the point that the Spanish- Roman poet Martial called Andalusian regions Betis olifera .

The region Ampurias initially was a Greek colony surrounded by Iberian cities whose remains are still preserved , was an important center of introduction of the olive , which saw its splendor in Roman times , in the fertile lands of Tarragona, where they occur to this day fine olive oils.

The Arab peoples who roamed the peninsula met the magnificent olive groves. At the time of Al- Andalus , expanded and improved cultivation techniques so as to obtain olive oil . During the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries and geographical expansion of existing olive groves , the bulk density of plantation is located in the heart of Andalusia, comprising the provinces of Jaén , Córdoba and Seville are consolidated .

The history of the olive in Aragon is very similar to that described for the whole Mediterranean area , given its proximity and its peculiar climate similar to the east . Possibly their introducers were the Phoenicians or the Greeks, what is known is that olive cultivation did not reach too much until the arrival of Scipio as deduced book Avienus Ora Maritima, which is called the Ebro " oleum flumen " , ie oil river .

Varieties of Olive Oil over extended

Only in Spain more than 260 olive cultivars are posted. For example, below we highlight the features of some of the main ones:

Classification of Olive Oil (in increasing order of best quality):

Olive Pomace Oil. It is obtained from the remains of the olives after having extracted extra virgin olive oil. It is then blended with virgin and refined olive oils. Maximum acidity: 0.5º.

Olive Oil. It is the blend of virgin olive oils and refined olive oils. Refined olive oil is obtained by a depuration process of low quality olive oil. Maximum acidity: 1.5º.

Virgin Olive Oil. This oil is obtained using solely mechanical means which do not alter the oil in any way and which has not undergone any chemical treatment. Maximum acidity: 2º.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is virgin olive oil with a maximum acidity of 0.8º.

Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil. This kind of olive oil is intended to fulfil the demands of all those consumers who look for to buy the best products in deli shops. The price of organic olive oil is considerably higher, but we are talking about a gourmet olive oil, as this type of extra virgin olive oil has been produced by cultivating olive trees without using chemical products, what provides it with even better properties.

Manzanilla Cacereña     

A variety of olives used for both table to mill. This oil has good body, scented grass and ripe fruit, its flavor is strong, bitter and spicy notes.

 

 

Arbequina   

Is the characteristic variety of Catalan near Tarragona and Lleida, and also occurs in the High Aragon. Its oil has a fruity smell of olives and other fruits like apple, banana and almond. It is a very smooth, sweet and almost imperceptible bitter and spicy oil. The oil of this variety of olive is presented in its conception and delicate in structure.

 

Cornicabra     

It is distributed mainly in the provinces of Toledo, Ciudad Real, Madrid, although it can also be found in the provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz. His oils are very aromatic with fruity olive and other fruit which highlights apple in mouth herbal notes of olive leaf are appreciated, bitter is light and more intense itching. Slow growth, Cornicabra grown in old traditional plantations while not get high yields of intensive plantations, let the process take care of obtaining the maximum oil for best quality.

Hojiblanca                   

It is distributed mainly in the provinces of Cordoba, Malaga and Seville. The early collection are very fruity and complex oils are characterized by herbaceous notes as freshly cut grass, alloza, artichoke and aromatic, its entrance is sweet with a slight bitter ending with a very localized itching in the mouth.

 

Picual    

Dispatched by Jaén, Córdoba and Granada fundamentally. Its oil is prized for its high stability (resistance to oxidation), due to its high polyphenol content and the high percentage of oleic acid. This feature is very popular in cooking because it is very resistant to high temperatures. Sensory oils are great personality, full-bodied, and with a high score of "fruity green olive", appreciating the taste olive leaf, slight itching and bitterness. Other herbaceous stand descriptors that appear in more or less intensity depending on the ripeness of the fruit such as green, tomato and fig leaf.

Lechin de Sevilla     

This variety is distributed through the provinces of Sevilla, Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga and Huelva. Your name corresponds to the white color of its flesh and its oily liquid (mixture of oil and vegetation water).

 

 

Verdial    The name Verdial called a number of local varieties promptly extended to the south and west of the peninsula, taking different names depending on their geographical origin.It spans the province of Badajoz, in the community of Extremadura, reaching Portugal.

 

Empeltre     

Empeltre is property of the community of Aragon, having its origin in the town of Pedrola, (Zaragoza). Your growing area extends from the provinces of Logroño and Teruel by the Ebro Valley to the province of Tarragona, occurring even in the Balearic Islands.

 

Picudo    

Get this denomination fruit shape with apex pointed and curved and pronounced nipple. Get other names but it is curious that you get at Luque, town southeast of Córdoba, where he is called "birder", we are told, because the oil is so sweet that at the time of ripening fruit bite birds. This variety is widespread in the provinces of Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Jaen, with higher density in the Baena, southeast of Córdoba.

 

Composition of olive oil: olive oil is a vegetable fat or lipid oldest food.

"Consuming olive oil in the meals meet the basic needs of fatty acids."
99% of its composition corresponds to different fatty acids, namely:
Oleic acid between 63 and 83%
acid Palmitito 7 to 17%
stearic acid between 1.5 and 5%
acid Palmitoleico 0.3 to 3%
linoleic acid 3 to 14%
linolenic acid less than 1.5 %
The remaining 1% is formed by the vitamin E and natural antioxidants, among which we can cite to the polyphenols, pigments, flavors, etc.

 

The Spanish Olive.

Spain produces 46.0% of world production of olive oil. 80% of Spain's production comes from the region of Andalucía, particularly within Jaén province, although other regions, including los Montes de Toledo also produce excellent oil.


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Olive oil in ancient Greece

 

The legendary olive tree and the oil obtained from its fruits have accompanied the history of mankind

        

The first crop oil develops in a region including the Palestine, Crete, Egypt.Olive Oil becomes a matter of paramount importance in ancient Greece. There is evidence of the presence of olive trees from the fourteenth century BC Micena in area.

        

Always according to mythology, the art of agriculture have been taught to men by Aristaeus, son of Apollo and the nymph Cyrene.Episodes often occur in which the protagonists are rubbed with olive oil, as is usually the case in the time.

        

Poseidon was already savoring the victory when Athena began to explain the extraordinary properties of the olive tree: a strong plant could live for many years and producing appetizing and tasty fruit, of which man could extract an ideal liquid for seasoning food, give strength to the body, heal the wounds and illuminating the night.

        

Olive oil in Roman Empire

The expansion of the Roman Empire ensured that the basic trade routes that remain open.

        

The Romans are responsible for bringing about a significant increase in olive oil production beginning between 200 BC and AD 200. Olive oil production became semi-industrialized at sites such as Hendek Kale in Turkey, Byzacena in Tunisia and Tripolitania, in Libya.

Testimony of this is the famous book of Apicius, which conveys the gastronomy of Classical Rome.

        

Olive oil in ancient egypt

To the Egyptians, olive oil was highly valued for many purposes, such as cooking, medicine, lighting lamps and even for religious ceremonies.
In the tombs of the ancient pharaohs, olives were often found among the food that was placed in, intended to help the transition to the afterlife. Moreover, in the famous tomb of Tutankhamen were found ornaments and wreaths made with olive branches.

Importing cretese Olive Oil is one of the most important economic decisions of ancient Egypt (2000 BC)

        

The largest olive groves were along the Nile Delta near Alexandria.

        

The clay tablets of libraries and archives reveal points of olive growing and oil locations.

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