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BLOG, November 12, 2015

The “Arbequina” tree is the most widely found variety in Catalonia, the most famous and the most well known. It is a small tree which endures well the frost and the dryness. It starts to produce olives after 10 to 15 years.The “Arbequina” olive is one of the smallest olive used to produce olive oil. It is rather round and it matures very early. It is green-violet and shinny. It produces very fine olive oil.Highlight is needed in the fact, that if well seasoned, it is very good to be eaten in the table. Its name comes from the town of Arbeca, in Les Garrigues region.

The Olive Tree

The olive tree has strong roots and well ramify. The types of the root are different depending on how the tree is planted. If the tree is planted from a seed, it will has a vertical principal root. If the seedling does not have any principal root, the root grows horizontally. In time, the union of this roots with the trunk constitutes the "soca".
From Another source
Small and ranging from a light green to a light brown, these arbequinas are hand-picked and noted for their soft meat and slightly nutty flavor. While each olive has only a small amount of meat, flavor abounds. Typically, arbequina olives are served as a table olive in Spain.

These Olives Have Pits

Served as a tapa, with salad or pasta, arbequina olives are sure to remind you of Spain.
From Another source

The Arberquina olive variety represents the North East region of Spain, more precisely the area of Catalonia, though the variety is being planted in other olive growing regions, in Spain as much as in the rest of the producing countries. In Spain there is about 250.000 acres of Arberquina olive groves.
Olive oil of the Arbequina variety is characterized by its fluidity and extraordinary fragrance. As can be seen in the figure, Arbequina olive oil is very fruity, with a slight apple taste, green grass, not very bitter or pungent, and of a sweet flavor. It’s a smooth olive oil that is very fluid in the mouth, having specific attributes such as green almond and fresh cut grass flavor.

The intrinsic composition of Arberquina olive oil presents a medium-low content of oleic acid and a high level of polisaturated acids, which configure the olive oil’s fluid characteristic. The stability of an Arberquina olive oil can be considered medium-low as well.

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"What is the difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Extra Light Olive Oil ?"

BLOG, April 17, 2007

Extra Virgin oils are obtained only by mechanical means, while Extra Light oils are obtained by using a chemical process, which is sometimes called "refining". In the next lines you will understand why the name of Extra Light is misleading to the consumers.

To obtain a good quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, farmers pick the olives during the day and bring them to the mill in the evening, where the olives are washed with water and crushed.

The timing is of the essence.

The more time the olives stay out of the trees, the less the quality of the oil will be. The process of crashing olives occurs at room temperature between 77 F and 86 F (that is called "cold press").

The result of crashing is olive paste that contains three components: water, oil and sansa (the residual of the paste).

In order to separate the 3 elements, the paste needs to be centrifuged a couple times. After that, the different components stay in different layers and it is easy to separate the one from the others.

In the other hands, the process of The Extra Light is very different as it uses the sansa (the residual of the paste) and it presses sansa twice with applying heat to obtain more oil.

The oil obtained is not comestible so that it is necessary to apply a chemical process, which removes the odors and taste. The result is a fatty non-color and non-odor mass. To add some color and taste 4 % of Extra virgin olive oil is added.

Why "First Cold Pressed"?

First cold press means that the olives are pressed only once and that no heat is applied to the process.

Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil "First cold pressed" ?

Yes, in order to obtain a low acidity <0.4, the olive paste cannot be heated and has to be obtained from a "short and gentle press". When the heat is applied, it is possible to obtain the more oil from the same olives, which means the oil can be less costly. It is true of longer and stronger press. However, when the heat or more vigorous press are applied to the process, the result of the oil has the less quality and the higher acidity. It is the reason why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is always First Cold Press.