I don’t know about you but when I came to Spain many, many years ago my knowledge of olive oil was limited to that which I would have over my salads in beach bars. In those days only the cheapest would have been used and the Spanish would have kept the best for themselves or the cognoscenti. But once you learn more — and taste more — you realise how beautiful it is. Nothing is better than hot crispy bread smothered in Virgin Olive Oil or large salad tomatoes doused in the green stuff with a sprinkling of fresh crushed garlic (and don’t forget said bread for mopping up.)
In fact the whole olive oil business is taken very seriously especially in Malaga where they hold annual awards; and with the cost of imported sunflower oil because of the war in Ukraine, now is a great time to try as many as you can.
This years ‘winners’ were Aceite Legado, Sierra de Yeguas and Aceite Milenario.
LEGADO: Has won 26 awards as the best virgin olive oil. This year’s award was for the strong green fruity oil. Not only is it popular in Spain, especially Malaga, but it adorns the shelves of Deli’s and specialist outlets in the UK, States, China and Japan. Tasting notes point out its green colour with golden reflections and intense flavour of fresh grass in which fruity notes of green apple and banana are mixed with a background of tomato and aromatic plants, leading to that green almond aftertaste that ends with a pleasantly spicy white pepper. Rooted in the lands of Antequera where the origin of the best Hojiblanca olives come from the oldest olive trees which gives it that flavour and colour that distinguish it year after year: The bottle looks great as well.
OLIVA: Voted best medium fruity oil from the Sierra de Yeguas is an Andalusian Cooperative Society founded in 2000 by 165 farming partners, located in the Sierra de Yeguas, in the province of Malaga, in the North of the Antequera. Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Hojiblanca (90%) and Arbequina (10%) varieties produces an oil with a green aroma with a high content of freshly cut grass, tomato and olive leaf, and a certain pleasant spiciness in the throat.
ACEITE EL MILENARIO: Best mature fruity oil. Great presentation in a dark bottle, keeping the oil at its best as well as looking good. And if you are in hospitality it looks good on a restaurant table. The Millenary Periana Oil comes exclusively from the dozens of olive trees that are found around Periana and that are over a thousand years old. Its taste has a good balance between spicy and sweet, while the bitterness is light and astringency low. There is a light secondary aroma reminiscent of freshly cut grass, with hints of green almonds and walnuts.
Discover the liquid gold.