jaen selection tasting

Expoliva May 2019 visit

OliveOilTour News, Uncategorized

Expoliva 2019, May, 16th, 2019

It is always a pleasure to assist to expoliva, the international fair of olive oil and allied industries. This year it is the 19th event. It takes place every 2 years in Jaén, the world’s biggest concentration and extension of olive trees, one hour drive north of Granada. When we got close to the fair, it was thriving to see such a heavy traffic on the road and so many people rushing to the entrance!

This year’s Jaén best olive oils selection is composed of 8 picual variety olive oils, 1 of these is organic. It is actually the one I thought was most aromatic. Picual is the star variety of Jaén. It is the most cultivated variety in Spain. Picual olive oil is fragrant, like freshly cut grass, tomato plant, artichoke ; it is powerful, bitter and spicy. It is also full of antioxidant properties.

As a guide of the OliveOilTour and experimented and enthusiast olive oil taster, the most exciting part for me is to go to the international exhibition of olive oils and get a taste of the world’s best olive oils! This year 188 olive oils were presented. Most of them are Spanish and most of them are from Jaén, which is obvious. This time I made a point in concentrating in foreign olive oils which are accounting for 43%. The most represented country is Italy, with 27 different excellent olive oils, followed by Argentina, with 12 tasty olive oils. Morocco also has quite a good representation. The other countries are Portugal, Greece, France and Israel. And from the South hemisphere, Brasil, Uruguay, which was quite a surprise with 4 different olive oils and Chili.

I had a lot of fun, smelling and tasting so many different oils! Each country has its own soil and own varieties of olives, that make them unique! It was nice to get a feeling of these varied terroirs! Italian oils give you the taste and aromas of hay, thistle, rosemary and mint. In Argentine and Chilean olive oils, artichoke flavour stands out. Portugal is tomato and Morocco has mint and green tea earthy olive oils!

A frequent question during the tour is how much of the production of Spain is organic. In this exhibition, 21% of the oils are organic, most of them from Spain, followed by Italy, France and Israel. Organic agriculture is definitively increasing in Spain, certainly due to an increasing demand from the consumers, increasing awareness of the producers, easier access to organic techniques to control pests and higher value to the final product.