Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How do we select our premium extra virgin olive oil brands?
Requirements for products in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil category
The distance between the olive picking point must not be more than 50Km away from the point where the olives are processed.
The label must show the cultivar of the olives with which the oil was made.
The product must have a maximum production of 50,000 litres.
Enjoy a broadly diverse selection of 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oils from our Authentic Food Makers®
In this category you can buy premium EVOO from hand picked small producers, family owned estates and farmers.
The cultivation of olive trees and the production of olive oil are widespread in the countries bordering the Mediterranean. The European Union as a whole occupies 80% of the world's olive oil production. The major European producers are Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, with minority shares in France. In these countries, olive growing has a great importance not only for the rural economy, but also for the cultural and environmental heritage, considering that around 2.5 million producers work in the sector, about a third of the Union's farmers European Union, and that in some regions of Italy, Spain and Greece olive growing is by far the main agricultural activity, both in terms of people employed and in terms of percentage of cultivated area.
Italian production of extra virgin olive oil
After Spain, Italy is the second largest producer of olive oil in Europe and in the world, with an average national production of over 464,000 tons, two thirds of which are extra virgin.
Olive cultivations are widespread for 2% in the mountains, 53% in the hills and 44% in the plains. Due to the characteristics of the plant itself, which needs a mild climate, olive cultivation in Italy is widespread in the central (19%) and southern (77.9%) regions, while in the north production is more limited (2%), but increasing, concentrating particularly in some more temperate microclimate areas, such as Liguria and the hilly areas around Lake Garda. The plants in production are about 170 million and the farms that deal with olive growing are more than a million, therefore the average cultivated areas are of the order of about one hectare, testifying to the extreme land fragmentation.
Extra virgin olive oil, like all fats, requires that it be preserved in adequate environmental conditions to maintain its organoleptic characteristics over time. Poor preservation will cause pleasant aromas and flavours to be lost and other undesirable ones that depreciate the product may appear.
For proper conservation of virgin olive oil, it should be protected from light and kept at a temperature as constant as possible, without large oscillations and that is neither too high nor low. It is also important to keep it as isolated as possible from the air since oxidation phenomena occur in contact with it, leading to deworming, as well as to acquire flavours or odours from the surrounding atmosphere.
Therefore, the ideal would be to keep your extra virgin olive oil in airtight containers or tanks, in the dark and at a mild temperature.