Extra Virgin Olive Oils from Southern France

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During our trip to Southern France, we’ve had the chance to taste some delicious extra virgin olive oils. It really surprised us that none of them was bitter, in contrast to Southern Spain’s Olive oils.
In addition, most of them were quite peppery, which shows their freshness and good quality, and their flavors were also pretty different from our local olive oils.

The labels that are used in these oils differ as well from the labels that are used in Spain. For instance, these oils can be labelled as “Récolte précoce” (early harvest) or “Récolte tardive” (late harvest) depending on what moment of the season the olives have been harvested. Moreover, there are also some labels that indicate the kind of fruitiness of the oils. The “fruité vert” (green fruitiness) means that the olives were harvested early in the season; the “fruité mûr” (ripe fruitiness) shows that the harvest was done later, and the “fruité noir” (black fruitiness) indicates that the olives were harvested late in the season and fermented (on purpose and under control) for a few days before they were transformed into olive oil with the idea of obtaining a taste like one-time.

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We would like to share with you our impressions of some of the wonderful oils that we tasted!

We greatly enjoyed the extra virgin olive oil that produces Le Moulin de Villevieille with the olive variety Picholine. This tasty oil has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) of Nîmes, and it won a Concours Général Agricole (CGA) Silver Medal in Paris in 2012. It has an intense green fruitiness; you can smell green apples as well as apricots and roses. Once you taste it, you get artichoke together with raspberries and blueberries. It is a silky, sweet and peppery oil!

We also truly liked the extra virgin olive oil that is produced with the Aglandau olive by Le Moulin de L’Olivette. This flavourful oil has a PDO of Haute-Provence, and also won a CGA Silver Medal in Paris in 2012. This olive oil has a very intense green fruitiness that smells like grass and artichokes. It tastes like almonds, ripe figs and artichokes. This oil is very fruity, sweet, a little bitter, and very peppery.

In addition to the above mentioned oils, we also tasted two delicious extra virgin olive oils from La Royrie. These two organic olive oils are produced with the Cailletier olive, and have a PDO of Nice. The one labelled as “Récolte précoce” smells like kiwi, cut grass, artichokes, and tastes like almonds. It is also a very silky and peppery oil. The other one, the “Récolte tardive”, smells like almonds, hay, green apples and plums. Once you try it, you can taste walnuts together with avocados. Its texture is silky, velvety and round. Both oils from La Royrie are full-bodied and linger in your mouth.

What a great treat and a pleasure to get to enrich our palate with flavors, perfumes and aromas of olive oils from other countries, so different from our own! Hopefully we can go on another gastronomic trip soon!