Get to know the best olive oils in Spain

The Spanish 'olive oil tourism' routes / pixabay.com/es/users/stevepb-282134/
The Spanish 'olive tourism' routes / pixabay.com/es/users/stevepb-282134/
16 October 2019, Redaction

Olive oil is an authentic delicacy that we can serve both to accompany our most special dinners or a toast for breakfast. Its properties and benefits for our health are innumerable, and must become a basic ingredient in our cuisine.

Spain boasts several denominations of origin (yes, just like wine or cheese) and our olive oil is one of the most demanded on the planet.

If you want to discover new varieties and add new flavours to your dishes, don't hesitate in following this route with 5 of the best designations of origin in Spain:

Denomination of Origin Sierra de Cazorla

View of Sierra de Cazorla / Wikimedia commons
View of Sierra de Cazorla / Wikimedia commons

Sierra de Cazorla is located in the province of Jaén, famous for its olive groves and the epicentre of oil production in Spain. Its Denomination of Origin has around 37,000 hectares of olive trees and an oil production of approximately 38,000,000 kg. Its oils are of great stability, slightly bitter, very fruity (especially apple, almond and fig tree), they highlight the picual and royal varieties and are rich in vitamins A, D, E and K.

Olive oil tourism is a way of life in this area, in fact if you visit you can be welcomed with an "oleotur" with which to live new experiences. You will be able to find out how the olive tree is cultivated, the extraction of the oil or even try oil tasting. If you would like a recommendation: the Puerta de las Villas oils.

Denomination of Origin Gata-Hurdes

Las Hurdes olive trees / turismocaceres.org
Las Hurdes olive trees / turismocaceres.org

To the north of the province of Cáceres, comprising mainly the regions of Sierra de Gata and Hurdes, is the Denomination of Origin Gata-Hurdes. The production is small, but very appreciated by experts and its oils are exported to countries such as Japan, China and the United States.

This Denomination produces a dense oil with a percentage of oleic acid generally above 75%. The variety of olive is the manzanilla cacereña from which one obtains some intense fruits of apple, almond and banana. The production area provides a great contrast of cold winters and warm summers that give the oil great character.

Denomination of Origin Les Garrigues

Oils from Comarca de Les Garrigues / olidoplesgarrigues.com
Oils from Comarca de Les Garrigues / olidoplesgarrigues.com

La Comarca de Les Garrigues is located in the province of Lleida, to the south of the regions of Segrià and Urgell. Thanks to the Arbequina variety, the climatic conditions and the meticulous cold elaboration, a superior quality oil is born, full of personality and tradition.

All the processes (planting, production, preparation and packaging) take place in the region. If you drop by Les Garrigues you will discover a dense, tasty oil with aromas reminiscent of tomato and green almond. A delicacy!

Denomination of Origin La Rioja

Olive tasting in La Rioja / aceitedelarioja.com
Olive tasting in La Rioja / aceitedelarioja.com

La Rioja, known worldwide for its vineyards and wines, also has a Denomination of Origin of oil that is worth taking into account. The cultivation of olive trees has been maintained for centuries with traditional tasks and now modern harvesting techniques being added. All this has resulted in a production of around 650,000 liters per year.

The olive variety goes from hojiblanca to arbequina passing through picual and the use of transgenic varieties is not allowed. All in all, the 70 brands of the Denomination of Origin offer a variety of oils where the bitter taste and high levels of oleic acid predominate.

Denomination of Origin Sierra de Cádiz

Views of Sierra de Cádiz / cadizturismo.com
Views of Sierra de Cádiz / cadizturismo.com

The Sierra de Cádiz, in the northeast of the province, has beautiful villages in its territory such as Zahara de la Sierra, Setenil de las Bodegas or Olvera. The landscape shown to us when we visit the area has gentle hills and thousands of olive trees. From them we can obtain one of the tastiest extra virgin olive oils in Spain, with aromas reminiscent of wild fruits.

The 20,000 hectares of olive trees are located in a difficult terrain in which the use of machinery and pesticides is more complicated, so the oil obtained from this area is mostly organic and balanced on the palate.

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