One of the activities that I liked most about the event We eat Priego (que organizó Al-Salmorejo con la DO de Priego) y que os conté hace unas semanas, fue la cata dirigida por Paqui García en la sede de la DO de Aceites de Priego y en la que aprendí mucho del aceite de oliva virgen extra (y de Marga Reig, una de las personas que conozco que más sabe de AOVE y que me ha ayudado un montón a entender todo el proceso).

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During the tasting, we learned the road that runs the olive that has a long process to become Virgin olive oil extra.

This begins with the collection and subsequent transport to the mill. His early collection makes that olive is little damaged, and have its best organoleptic characteristics. Collection performs well by mechanical methods, with traditional exercise, which makes that olive does not fall to the ground, and therefore, it will not be damaged.

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Once the olives reach the mill, proceeds upon receipt that verifies the quality of the olives and samples are taken. A first cleaning of the olives is made: sticks, leaves and everything non-olives are removed, and if necessary, should be washed with water.

From here begins the phase of milling (grinding). This process than before of doing with millstones, is now performed with hammer (breakers) mills. You get a paste thick, full of skins and bones, which passes to the mixer.

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This Blender Thermo will help oil molecules together. Do you know that this process which is called cold extraction is actually to temperature? There are temperature stable environment the 26 ° (never more than 27 °), but it is not cold. If the temperature is increased, more oil is extracted, but the same properties would not be of the highest quality. In this extraction, separate the different elements of the olive: mass, water and oil.

We already have something that is will be looking more to oil, but is not yet a perfect pure oil, so it goes to the phase decanting whose result is on the one hand the oil and pomace (alpeorujo, solid residue) and alpechín (liquid waste). Pomace oils are obtained from the alpeorujo.

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Olive oil us giving passes to a centrifuge. This fine and free of impurities, oil then passes to the storage tanks. That deposit the oil should be completely insulated from light and air, reason why some deposits stored in nitrogen instead of oxygen. If the olive is quickly bottled oxygen tanks can be used, but if the oil will be stored for a long time, then the storage should be with nitrogen to prevent rancid oil and oxygen could negatively affect its evolution. The deposit is an essential phase that helps the complete separation of the impure particles that may remain in the oil.

After this deposit, the oil is stored in stainless steel tanks. Deposits must be of a material inert, opaque and waterproof and cannot absorb odors so that oil does not become rancid or murky. It is then packaged and marketed.

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But what found me most interesting was learning different oils that exist and the differences between them.

1. During the tasting could smell and taste the lampante, which is basically the Virgin olive oil presenting different defects: rather than the olives that have been used had defects or because in the process have been defective for different reasons. The result is an oil with an acidity higher than 2nd, and therefore compliant is an oil that can not be marketed. This oil refined in refining oil with caustic soda through chemical processes that it lost its negative characteristics becoming a refined oil.

2. The next oil that we taste was olive oil refined. It has become an oil with acidity lower than 0.2 °, so it has no taste, color or odor, and of course nutritionally speaking its value is very basic.

The refined oil is mixed with one part of EVOO (between 10 and 20%) to create the mild olive oil (is the old 0.4).

Another olive oil obtained is intense (formerly known as 1st) and carrying oil refined to incorporate up to 50% of EVOO.

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3. The oil that we taste then was a Virgin olive oil. In this oil the juice obtained is performed without using chemical procedures so that the removal does not alter the final product. Virgin olive oil is a defective oil because it has a slight sensory defect.

4. Finally arrived at the tasting of the extra virgin olive oilthe precious EVOO where the smells, tastes and color are exceptional.

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Olive oil is considered extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), must be Virgin and extra, i.e. that you have failed to use only mechanical procedures in its elaboration. In addition, the juice obtained from the process is valued in a panel that determines that it has zero organoleptic defects and with a near-perfect fruity. I.e., it has to be perfect.

The fruity is a set of olfactory sensations of oil that depends on the variety of olive. You get always a healthy, fresh, green or ripe, fruit accrues to direct or aftertaste and certainly determines the quality of the oil. Although national legislation establishes that to which an oil is considered extra virgin olive, you must possess a fruity more than zero and flawless, in Priego oils DO go beyond setting minimum fruity in 4, which is a clear sign of its commitment to the quality of the oils.

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The geographical situation, the mimo olives and the process of their oils, make oil extra virgin olive oils from Priego do a high quality EVOO.

An unforgettable experience and highly recommended that I encourage everyone to look because you'll love if you love olive oil

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