In Spain there are over 200 varieties of olive, oil characteristics are defined largely depending on the variety of olive used in its preparation, so knowing each variety and its characteristics will help us to choose an oil or other easily.
Based on these varieties can be produce single varietal oils and coupages or blended oils . Monovarietal olive oil (single varietal) is obtained from a single variety olive so the characteristics of the variety used largely define the flavor and aroma of the oil.
Furthermore coupages or blended olive oils are obtained by mixing two or more monovarietales in specific proportions to complement and enhance oil.
Here are the most important and well-known olive varieties of Spanish territory:
Verdial olive is characteristic of the Axarquia region, in the northwest of the province of Malaga and of the province of Badajoz , are the largest Spanish olive underperforming although fatty oils are extracted from the olive fruity sweet taste and enjoyable, and without any bitterness or spicy, its composition makes it necessary to protect them from heat, light and air. A very appreciated variety to bring stability in developing coupages or blended oils.
It is characteristic of the east of the province of Seville , southern and northern Cordoba, and the province of Málaga. In black, has a late maturing from late November to late December .. its fatty acid composition is very balanced, saturated acids with relatively low compared with other varieties. The oils extracted from the olive present a wide range of flavors but predominantly vegetable flavors , sweet at first, fruity in the aroma, slightly bitter and spicy, and nutty aftertaste.
Picual olive is the most widespread, constitutes 50 % of Spanish olive grove and 20 % of world olive. In Spain is found in Andalusia, mainly in the province of Jaén. The picual olive is characterized by high productivity and resistance , with the olive that produces large, elongated , and high oil yield, which can reach 25%. It also has a high level of stability due to its high content of polyphenols. The olive oil is an intense oil, fruity flavor, intense light bitterness and spicy tones.
Catalonia 's origin, but can also be found in Aragon. The olive tree grows arbequina olive, small , concentrated, and good oil yield ( around 21 % ). Arbequina oil is fruity flavor, greenish- yellow, and intensely aromatic, especially apple and almond. These oils are mild with little bitterness and spicy. Oils are sensitive to oxidation, so it is recommended to protect from light and heat.
Cornicabra olive is the second most cultivated and third in production, characteristic of Castilla La Mancha, especially of Toledo and Ciudad Real, is long , pointed horn -shaped and hence its name, is located oil yield by 19 %, presents great stability due to its high content of fatty acids. Cornicabra olive oil is yellow-green with fresh aromas and flavor of sweet, sour and slightly spicy.