The olive harvest in Andalucía
Olives have been an integral part of the culture and cuisine of Andalucía for centuries. The harvesting of olives in Andalucía is a centuries-old tradition that has been passed down through generations. This region, the largest producer of olive oil in the world, is known for its high-quality, extra virgin olive oil.
The olive tree has been a symbol of peace and prosperity in the region, and its production has been an important source of income for many families. The harvesting of olives in Andalucía is a complex process that has evolved over the centuries.
The techniques used to harvest olives vary from region to region, but they all share the same goal: to ensure that the olives are harvested in the most efficient and sustainable way possible.
In this way, the harvesting of olives in Andalucia is divided into two main methods: traditional and modern. The traditional method involves picking olives from the tree branches by hand. This is a difficult and time-consuming process, but it ensures that the olives are picked at the optimal stage of ripeness and allows for better quality control.
For other hand, the modern method of harvesting olives involves the use of mechanical harvesters. These machines remove the olives from the tree branches by shaking them off. This method is much faster and more efficient than the traditional method, but it can damage the tree and the olives if not used properly.
Early harvest extra virgin olive oil is made from olives harvested at veraison, an optimum point of ripening that occurs just when the olives change colour from green to purple, or even a little earlier.
There is no fixed date for harvesting this early olive, as it depends both on the area and the variety of olive, and on weather conditions, although in the Mediterranean it usually begins in mid-October and ends around mid-November.
Extra virgin olive oils made from early harvest olives usually have exceptional organoleptic characteristics (smell and taste), especially their intense fruitiness, if the rest of the process has been carried out in a demanding manner.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil process
This process in Andalucia is an art form in itself. The olives are crushed and blended in a metal press, and the resulting paste is placed in cheesecloth and pressed to extract the oil. The quality of the oil depends on the quality of the olives and the skill of the olive oil maker.
Finally, the best extra virgin olive oils are made from olives that have been harvested at the peak of their ripeness, and are cold-pressed to ensure the most flavor and aroma.
If you wish to know another important things about the extra virgin olive oil, click here.