Green olive oil. Are you certain it’s the highest quality one?

Green olive oil. Are you certain it’s the highest quality one?

Are you certain that it’s green olive oil that is the highest quality one? To answer this question, we’re going to dedicate the following post.

We’re certain you’ve heard it thousands of times.  In any conversation concerning extra virgin olive oil, you’ll have heard someone say that green olive oil is of far higher quality than the gold-coloured variety.

But is that certain? As with many other things in our sector, it all depends.

There’s no doubting that we’re living a moment in which green olive oil is in fashion and also what is called emerald-green oil. However, the emerald colour is still olive oil that is green in colour.

And since it’s in fashion at the moment, it’s possible that some producers have started marketing green olive oil but they’ve forgotten about other qualities which the best extra virgin olive oils in the world must have.

What we mean by that is that in order to gauge the quality of oil, it’s not enough to simply consider its colour.

But before we continue, what is green olive oil?

If we talk about green olive oil, what we really mean is oil produced from an early harvest, first harvest or a harvest carried out  before the olives have started to change colour. All of these terms mean that the olive hasn’t reached its point of maturity.  These are the youngest olives.

At Masía El Altet, we pick them at the end of the month of October. This month in particular is ideal but always with the risk of the much feared frosts which we have to avoid at all costs so that the fruit isn’t damaged.

The climatic conditions we have on our estate during harvesting is an advantage since temperatures don’t normally rise above 20 degrees during the day or go below 3 at night.  In contrast, in other areas of Spain, the olives are harvested in temperatures above 30 degrees, and for that reason, they’re collected at night.

Green olives are much less productive.   That’s the plain truth. There’s no point in trying to say anything else. In order to extract a a litre of oil, you need more kilos of olives. The more mature the olive, the greater the litres produced but the lower the quality.

Net oil production at the beginning of the season at Masía El Altet is 8.5%. That means that for each 100 kgs of olives on the tree, we obtain 8.5 litres of extra virgin olive oil.

Twelve days later, on our last day of harvesting, we obtain a yield of 12.5%.

That’s a difference of almost 50% in only 2 weeks. With this data, we can see how rapidly the fruit ripens.  For that reason, the moment of harvesting is of vital importance in order to achieve maximum quality.

It’s not by collecting the olives earlier, when they’re less ripe, that we’ll obtain better oils since in outputs of less than 8% the organoleptic qualities can’t be appreciated (tomato, banana, tropical fruits…)  it’ll be chlorophyll more than anything else. So, the perfect margin for the olive to ripen is between 8.5% and 14%.

In reality, we need three times more green olives to extract the same quantity of olive oil as when the olives are ripe. And to that fact, you have to add what we’ve said in this post.  That you have to be very careful with high temeratures.  In our area, in the Mountains of Alicante, we don’t have warm Octobers.

Other conditioning factors to take into account

It’s certain that we’re speaking about the best kind of olive oil that exists.  But it’s necessary to take into account other factors in order to be able to speak about excellent juice of the olive. We’d like to highlight the following ones:

  1. Expert hands and experience. Expert hands that are perfectly capable of identifying when the green olives have to be picked. Years and years of experience to get the precise moment for harvesting right.
  2. Transporting the olives, which must always be carried out in optimum conditions, avoiding the high temperatures we have during the month of October. It’s not strange for these olives to be collected during the night in parts of Andalusia. In our area, this phenomenon never occurs.
  3. The best technology at the oil mill together with impeccable cleanlineness, which make it possible for us to offer our customers the best extra virgin olive oils in the world.
  4. Correct storage which protects it from heat and light.

Taking into consideration all of these conditioning factors, it’s not surprising that many experts in the sector coincide in pointing out that the colour of the olive oil on its own cannot be considered an indicator of excellence.  For that reason, in competitions to find the best quality extra virgin olive oils, the oil is presented in dark glasses.

It also depends on the fruit itself, on it’s degree of maturity since not all varieties ripen in the same way. With the Blanqueta variety, it’s not when it’s completely dark that it’s ripe but when it’s changed from a green to a whitish-yellow colour.

And it’s necessary to be careful because during the production process the colour of the oil can also be changed to make it greener by adding chlorophyll.  This is full-blown fraud which must be denounced.

At present, it’s much more frequent that oils of a green colour are chosen over and above ones that are golden in colour.  This, the possible alteration in colour in the process of production, has been demonstrated in this study carried out by the CSIC.

At our oil mill, you’ll only find one hundred per cent natural oil, the colour of which is due to the fact that young olives have been harvested.

More characteristics of green oil

When a green oil is tasted, some essential features can be observed such as the fact that it’s fruitier, more bitter, more natural and fresher.

These would be the adjectives to describe an oil which is green in colour.

It’s a product which leaves nobody indifferent. It’s capable of waking up your taste buds.  It has a unique taste and it’s very easy for lovers of good extra virgin olive oil to recognize.

What’s certain is that we’re talking about the most authentic juice of the olive and which has awoken great interest among the most recognized chefs in the world.

Precisely, for being more bitter and fruity, we consider them as the best oils for consuming raw.

That’s how you’ll pick up their nuances.  On salads, toast … that is where they really stand out. You know that olive oils, at high temperatures, lose some of their properties.

It’s also certain that it’s much healthier to cook with extra virgin olive oil than with other types of oil.

Green olive oil is recommended for accompanying the most delicious gastronomic creations.

In this way, it’s similar to wine. You have to consume them the same year as their harvest in order to be able to enjoy their full flavour.

In this post, we’ve told you what you wanted to know about green olive oil. There’s no doubt that it’s fashionable at the moment. But a green colour is not always an indicator of the best oil.  You have to take into account other factors such as experience, the food technology used, the moment the olives are harvested,…  Nevertheless, we have before us one of the best types of olive oil.

Have you already tried green olive oil? What’s your opinion? Don’t forget to leave your comment in this post.

And if you’ve liked the post, we’d love you to share it on your social networks

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments