This year again we’ve had the pleasure to visit Expoliva that is held in Jaen once every 2 years. This is one of the the most important international event on olive oil in the world. Jaen is Spain’s biggest producer with half of Spanish production, which accounts for 20% of the world production. At this time of the year, all the olive trees are in blossom there and the temperature is already very hot!
Expoliva best olive oils selection
This year’s best selection of olive oils resulted to be all the oils from Andalucia and the winner Finca La Torre from Malaga is a real delight for the senses!!! This single hojiblanca variety can be appreciated in all its magnitude! Fragrant like a spring meadow, it feels your nose with flowers and aromatic herbs, then, in the mouth it is buttery and powerful!
We’ve noticed that this year they were not as many foreign countries represented but we were surprised to see a few ones from Brazil. They were very tasty and smooth. We also tasted an excellent organic oil from Corsica, France, made with several hundred years old olive trees. We were delighted by its amazing figs aroma and flavor! We also noticed that more and more oils are organic! It is a growing tendency!
Labels and designs
We’ve been pleased to see how Spanish labeling and bottles of olive oils have professionally evolved! Now, glass bottles are painted and labels are designed to make sure that any drop of oil will not mess up the bottle presentation! In order to do this, two different techniques have been developed recently. The first one uses labels with certain designs and shiny colors to make sure that any drop of oil would be totally unnoticed. The second technique is the invention of a special paper that does not absorb oil at all. It is paper but it acts as plastic! Very handy and well thought!
Ultimate modern progress
We have also learned a little more about the intensive agriculture of new varieties of olive trees and how they are harvested by these enormous “enjambeuse” machines! They have chosen a French name which means “to step over” for this machine that drives over the tree and brushes it to gather directly the olives in its inside. These monsters can harvest 1 hectare in 2 hours and a half. In order to do this, a certain variety of trees are needed: they must be flexible trees, pruned in a very specific way, with just a main trunk in the middle and flexible branches around. A new variety has been invented recently in collaboration with Granada University, by selecting 2 major varieties of Spain and cross-pollinating them: “picual”, famous for its stable oil with high antioxidant rate, big olives with high oil content but bitter oil and hard tree, with “arbequina”, very fruity and delicate flavor but not as stable oil, and a more flexible tree. By crossing these two, “sikitita” was born, which has the best of each one!
It is always an exciting moment for us to visit Expoliva! All the steps of olive oil production are represented, as well as all the new advances! It is a melting-pot of useful information!