Spanish or Italian olive oil?
Almost 40% of the world’s olive oil comes from Spain. And 80 % of this comes from Andalucía. Jaén itself produces more than the whole of Greece. And Italy, they actually sell much more oil than they produce. They simply blend their own oil with others, from other places. In reality a good part of Italian olive oil comes from Spain.
The olives from around us, the hills of Cútar, are known for their deliciousness – soft, smooth, sweet and fruity, and without any trace of bitterness or piquancy what so ever. However it’s also a fact that Andalucian producers haven’t been very successful in promoting their oil, even though quality consistently is very high.
Here the very best olive oil is basically only available in small quantities from cooperatives in local villages. There are many of them. But marketing is not the first thing on their mind, and price and bottle shapes are no guides to quality. Local producers tend to sell their extra virgin oil in practical plastic bottles. This doesn’t affect the taste. Just remember to always keep you olive oil away from the light, in 14-16° C or 57-61° F, and sealed. And only decant the amount you are going to use within a few days.
Rafael will be done with the olives of the season sometimes in March. Weekends are a bit special. He starts Sundays with homemade churros, deep fried in olive oil, and doesn't go out to work until after that. He is 82 years old. He has no intentions to change his habits.