5 of the Best Spanish

Extra Virgin Olive Oils to Try in 2022

 – Spain’s best oil-producing regions –

February 2022 – The Spanish Radish Blog

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Discover the 5 Best Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oils. In this article, we’ll look at what brands to look out for and how to cook with the liquid gold of Spain.

When we talk about olive oil it’s always going to be extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), which has additional health and taste benefits to normal olive oil. It’s proven to be the healthiest oil to use for cooking, savoring with some fresh bread, or drizzling on salads. 

Our tops picks of the 5 Best Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oils:

  • Finca La Pontezuela
  • Fuenquesada
  • Nekeas
  • Oleocampo
  • Oleico Pallarés, S.L. – Herriza de la Lobilla

What are the best Spanish extra virgin olive oils, by region?

Spain is famous for olive oil and produces almost half of the worlds extra virgin olive oil. When it comes to regions in Spain that produce the most Olive oil, the Andalusia region is king, producing around 90% of the olive oil, all from the Jaén province.

While we’ve sampled plenty of incredible olive oils all throughout Spain, there are certain regions that are internationally renowned. If you find any that you want to try that don’t appear in this list, don’t be put off. You are pretty much guaranteed a lovely drop from anywhere.

There are stronger blends and different olives used, which can be heavily debated for hours and everyone has their own favorite here. So, if you can get into some olive oil tasting action where you live, jump at the opportunity as you’ll be surprised at how different they can be. A splash on some salad or drizzled on bread is what you want to try for the extra special varieties. These aren’t for cooking with!

a large jug of olive oil sits on a rustic benchtop with a few fresh olive branches beside the jug
Landscape of Andalusia region features rolling olive groves and mountains in the background.

Andalusia – the golden child of olive oil

Andalusia is located in the south of Spain and is home to the Jaén province, which is the undisputed star of olive oil production in the country and hence, the world. Covered in olive trees, some of the finest oils ever come from here. 

Catalonia – home to some of the oldest olive oil groves

Not to be outdone, olive oil producers from the Catalonia (Cataluña) region are world-famous and win plenty of awards for their outstanding extra virgin olive oils. If you ever get the chance to visit, you’ll even find the Olive Oil Theme Park and museums dedicated to olive oil dotted around.

Castilla-La Mancha

The region of Castilla-La Mancha is home to the (probably) most famous Spanish cheese, Manchego, among other gastronomic delights including olive oil. One of its most famous varieties is Cornicabra.

5 Spanish Olive Oils of Note in 2022

This list of our best Spanish extra virgin olive oils are in no particular order but all have their own unique story and flavor to lap up. Enjoy!

Finca La Pontezuela

Finca La Pontezuela is famous for its 5 Elementos range of extra virgin olive oils. While its Cornicabra is the shining star at the moment thanks to winning gold at the New York International Olive Oil Competition in 2021, they also create picual, arbequina, hojiblanca, and redondilla varieties.

Fuenquesada

Since 1850, the Quesada family has been making fine extra virgin olive oil. Fuenquesada is a gourmet olive oil. Hailing from the province of Jaén this picual oil is special from the moment the olives are tenderly harvested at night to the moment it delights the taste buds.

Nekeas

Nekeas extra virgin olive oil actually comes from Navarra which is in the north of Spain and home to so much of the beautiful wine produced. Nekeas does wine and extra virgin olive oil so is truly special.

Their arbequina oil is smooth and sweet. They also have a unique blend of arbequina and arróniz olives used in one extra virgin olive oil. Arróniz olive trees are cold-resistant which is why you find them in the north of Spain but still produce great quality olive oil.

A long olive branch droops in front of the camera with a blurred background

Oleocampo

With century-old olive trees, Oleocampo has won numerous awards and for good reason. It is a cooperative comprising of five olive oil mills in Andalusia. We love how the premium picual comes in an opaque bottle to preserve the quality of the liquid inside.

Oleico Pallarés, S.L. – Herriza de la Lobilla

A family-run business operating near Seville produces Herriza de la Lobilla. As well as producing awesome extra virgin olive oil, if you are ever near the area, they run guided tours to check out where the magic happens. They produce different olive oil varieties and they’re definitely worth sampling.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Tips and FAQs

 

What’s the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?

Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is made from cold-pressed olives that are ground into a a paste and then pressed to extract the pure oil. By comparison, olive oil is made from a  combination of processed oils and from cold-pressed olives. 

Which type of olive oil is best for cooking?

Extra-virgin olive oil is considered best for use in salad or for making dips or spreads where no cooking is involved. For cooking and frying, it is best to use olive oil as it has a higher smoke point temperature. 

Can extra virgin olive oil be used for cooking?

Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point temperature of 375°F (190°C) which is low compared to other oils. It is however, still suitable for cooking and is a more healthy choice than standard olive oil. 

How long does extra virgin olive oil last?

Extra-virgin olive oil has a high acidity content and can last up to 18 months once opened. The oil does start to degrade as soon as it is opened and you should aim to use within 6 months to ensure the best flavor. 

How to store extra virgin olive oil?

Store your olive oil in a cool, dark space in your kitchen that doesn’t get too hot. 

If your kitchen gets above 70°F (21°C) it may be worth refrigerating your oil. For optimum storage of EVOO, experts recommend storing it in a space that maintains a temperature between 55°F and 60°F (12-15°C). 

Does extra virgin olive oil need to be refrigerated after opening? 

It is best to refrigerate your olive oil only when your kitchen’s room temperature is higher than 70°F (21°C). Refrigeration causes condensation on the bottle and can change the flavor of  the olive oil.

Can I freeze olive oil?

Yes, Extra-virgin olive oil will begin to solidify around 54°F (12°C), you’ll see it have a gel like consistency and appear cloudy due to oxidization. Extra-virgin olive oil will freeze when stored at or below 10°F (-12.22°C). 

Does freezing harm extra virgin olive oil?

No, freezing extra-virgin olive oil does not harm it in the short term. Once the EVOO is thawed at room temperature it will return to the same consistency.

Health benefits of olive oil and the Mediterranean diet

Here are just a few of the proven health benefits of consuming olive oil regularly as part of the Mediterranean diet;

 

  • Improves digestion
  • Aids weight loss
  • Olive oil works as an anti-inflammatory
  • Reduces heart problems
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Improves cholesterol level in the blood
  • Boosts your metabolism
  • Boosts hair and skin health
  • Protects against type-2 diabetes and insulin resistance
  • Prevents against Osteoporosis

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