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Some may have a sweet and delicate flavour while others may have a touch of bitterness or pepper.
The reason for this is that there are more than 300 different varieties of olive trees in the world- the most popular types however can be found in Italy, Spain and Greece:
|Frantoio||Italy||fruity, green, herbaceus, pungent|
|Leccino||Italy||mildly, fruity, spicy and sweet|
|Coratina||Italy||fruity, green, bitter, pungent|
|Koroneiki||Greece||crude, fruity, bitter, pungent|
|Arbequina||Spain||very aromatic, fruity, sweet|
|Picual||Spain||bitter and pungent (overripe flavour)|
The Peleponnese and the island of Crete are the main olive oil producing regions. Here well flavoured oils with herbaceous tones are made from Koroneiki olives. The better known Kalamata olives are used for the table -and while some oils are labeled “Kalamata” this often refers to the region of the same ame from which the oil is produced.
Olives are grown throughout the country with the exception of the far northwest, yet the main olive oil producing regions are Puglia and Sicily — Tuscany makes up only 4% of production. Each region has its own weather, varieties and styles, therefore olive oil flavours vary greatly from grove to grove…
Toscana: Sweet & fruity with a peppery finish
Liguria: Sweet & light almond flavoured
Puglia: Tangy, aromatic & intense
Sicily: Intense aroma with light tomato flavour
Extra Virgin Olive Oils which have been produced at a temperature below 27°C using a traditional granite millstone and hydraulic press.
Extra virgin olive oils obtained through more modern systems, such as percolation or centrifugation, at a temperature below 27°C.
Some refined olive oils are further blended to obtain a milder flavour, like Filippo Berio’s Extra Light olive oils, making them ideal for frying and baking with no discernable “olive oil” taste.
Other types of refined olive oils are produced, not from the oil which comes out of the milling process but from the olive paste that remains. This residue, or pomace, contains a small amount of oil which is removed with the use of solvents. The resulting oil is then refined and blended in the same way as ordinary olive oil to make olive pomace oil.