Spanish Olive Oil
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.
Spain continues to be the world's leading producer of olive oil, with approximately 975,000 tons produced per year. Over 250,000,000 olive trees grow in Spain covering 7,720 square miles of groves that stretch as far as the eye can see. Some of them are over one thousand years old!
Meanwhile 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 oil has come into its own in America, as well. We liken it to what happened forty years ago when wine 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 part of the healthy Mediterranean diet. 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.
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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