It’s All About the Olives
Although there are hundreds of olive varieties, not all of them are meant to become olive oil. In fact, just a handful of olives are responsible for most of Spain’s premium oil. These are the most popular olives in Spain by volume.
Picual. Picual olives are the most planted varietal in Spain, and are mainly used to make olive oil at all quality levels.
Gordal . Gordal olives are the second-most planted varietal in Spain. Growers harvest the large gordal olives while green, and although these olives are meaty and flavourful, they’re rarely used to make oil.
Hojiblanca. The third-most planted varietal in Spain feels right at home around Córdoba. These black olives can be consumed as-is, but they also make high-quality oil.
Manzanilla . This noble dual-purpose varietal can be consumed as food, but it also produces spectacular olive oil. Oil made with manzanilla olives is mild and balanced, and it’s pretty resistant to oxidation.
Arbequina. It is a very small olive with a sweet taste rather than the typical bitter aftertaset that most olive oils have. The olive oil made from this olive is a great options for those who don’t like a strong olive oil flavor.
Aloreña. The most genuine of the olives in Spain. It is the only table olive in Spain with a Designation of Origin. It is such a delicate local variety that it is harvested by hand and all of its preparation is 100% natural.