17 Oct What are the best varieties of Spanish olives?
In the Iberian Peninsula they cultivate 260 varieties of olives and receive 45% of the world’s olive oil turnover. Almost no one thinks about what kind of olives are there?
The most popular variety is Piqual. By volume, they account for a quarter of the global olive crop and almost half of Spain’s plantations. They are called so because the fruit has a pointed tip like a peak. This is the standard taste of olives, which is why it is so popular. The oil from Piqual especially good in salads with fresh vegetables, as it lends a slight bitterness and warm woody notes. And the most important thing is the benefits. The Piqual olives is 10% more oleic acid than all other varieties, it is an aristocrat among the olives.
In second place is Cornicabra, also known as Cornesuelo, which is used to extract 15% of the olive oil in all of Spain. Olive oil from Cornicabra is the perfect companion for grilled vegetables, meat and poultry, warm salads and mushrooms.
The famous Arbequina is the most oily variety of olives, that is, even small fruits, less than a centimeter, give more Extra Virgin olive oil when pressed than a relatively large Piqual, for example. They were brought to Spain from the Middle East 1000 years ago and are still successfully cultivated. Arbequina gives a soft, refined bright green oil with a fresh fruit aroma with hints of Apple and almond.