Spanish Olive Oil - Liquid Gold
Spain is the world's leading producer of olive oil, with approximately 975 thousand tons produced per year. Over 250 million olive trees grow in Spain - we are always astonished to see olive groves that stretch as far as the eye can see. Some trees are over one thousand years old!
In recent years, families and cooperatives in Spain have drastically improved the quality of their extra virgin olive oils as well. Many are harvesting their oils earlier, just before they ripen. This produces a smaller harvest, but a much smoother, fresher and more delicate flavor. Now you can enjoy a wide variety of fine extra virgin olive oils, from organic, to boutique olive varieties, to special blends.
Olive cultivation began in the Middle East over 5,000 years ago and gradually spread westward throughout the Mediterranean basin. The Romans first planted olive trees in Spain, and since then olive oil has become central to their cuisine and history.
Spain, not Italy, provided the bulk of the olive oil to the Roman Empire. Archeologists in Rome found a mountain composed of 40,000,000 earthenware vessels that bore the labels of to the Spanish producers in Andalucía. To this day much of what is called Italian olive oil is actually produced in Spain and packaged in Italy.
Olive oil has come into its own in America, as well. We liken it to what happened when wine first became a regular part of American cuisine. We lived in California at the time and remember buying jugs of inexpensive red or white wine for parties and picnics. As soon as people got used to having wine as part of their meals, they became interested in quality rather than just price.
Extra virgin olive oil is central to the healthy Mediterranean diet, which studies have shown can prolong life and battle serious ailments like heart disease, osteoporosis and obesity. It is low in saturated fat and full of vitamins and beneficial compounds. Plus it tastes delicious!
In the United States, we are now spending more on olive oil than any other vegetable oil! Quality is becoming more important as Americans find new and interesting ways to use olive oil. Olives cold pressed within hours of harvest are the healthiest and most flavorful - beware of oils labeled 'pure' or 'light' which are chemically extracted and have very little health benefits.
We have personally selected some of our favorite first cold pressed, extra virgin olive oils for you to enjoy. No matter what your choice, you will be enjoying one of the best olive oils in the world.
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