There is a longstanding history and tradition of olive production in Europe, especially in Spain, where olives have been the heart of the culture and cuisine for more than 2,000 years.
The sunny weather of southern Europe, temperate winters and rich, fertile soil are idyllic for growing the perfect olive.
The olives are carefully hand-picked one by one to avoid damaging the fruit.
The main olive growing region in Europe is Spain.
A large portion of olives are used solely for the purpose of oil extraction, while only a select few are deemed suitable enough to be processed and eaten as table olives.
Making the grade depends on a variety of factors, such as the fruit’s fat content, the size of the pit in comparison to the flesh, how easily the pit can be removed, as well as the skin’s overall characteristics. If an olive has a small, smooth pit, average fat content, delicately tasty but firm flesh, as well as fine skin, it is given the green light as a table olive.
There are numerous types of olives classified by the level of ripening when harvested. Each level can be easily characterized by an olive's outer color:
- Green olives are harvested at their optimum ripening period for a smoked flavor.
- Semi-ripe olives are collected before their complete maturation. And have a pinkish, wine-colored hue, which creates a vibrant experience.
- Ripe olives are obtained fruits collected in full maturity or shortly before it and can present a reddish black color, violet black, violet or dark brown depending on the zone and the time of the year. They are deep and robust, with a truly profound flavor.
- Ripe black olives are harvested fruits whose maturation has been accelerated and are specially treated for their color and to eliminate bitterness.
All of this, along with the enormous range of olives available in the market in Europe, makes it a unique source beyond compare.