Which Is The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Look at these olives, from green to black, which olive made a better taste olive oil? Which one will make the olive oil pricier or cheaper? Gives higher health benefits? Is more bitter and/or spicier? That can last longer? Will not go rancid easily? And … which olive do you think will make the best extra virgin olive oil?

Green vs. Black Olives

Let’s start with the basics. Black olives are the ripe fruits of the olive trees. Olives turn from green to a darker colour as it is ripening. At the end of the ripening process, the olives become black.

Whereas in between, olive colour can come in a shade of green to a golden, yellowish hue, and then to reddish purple. In Spanish, the latter is called envero, which is a telltale sign of olives beginning to ripen.

Green olives, as the term implies, are the unripe fruit of the olive trees. If taken it raw, it is more bitter than black olive. In fact, it is extremely bitter and practically unpalatable due to the phenolic compounds it contains.

There you go, now you know. Green olives produce olive oil that has a greener taste such as freshly cut grass and green fruit. The colour is darker and greener. It is bitter and/or spicier, depending on the olive varieties used. Therefore, its polyphenol content is higher, and the taste is more intense and stronger.

πŸ’‘ Polyphenols are plant-based phenolic compounds that boost heart-health and immunity. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.

On the other hand, black olives produce a milder and smoother olive oil with paler yellowish colour. Its taste is reminiscent of ripe fruit with mild intensity, slightly bitter and mildly spicy, or none at all. Because ripe olives can be more easily picked using mechanical harvesters, and they also contain more fat for oil extraction than green olives, late-harvest ripe-fruity olive oil is cheaper than early-harvest green olive oil.

πŸ’‘ Ripe fruit yields more oil than green fruit. On the average, about 5 kg of olives make 1 litre of extra virgin olive oil. For early harvest olive oil, the amount of olives required is higher, 8 to 10 kg.

Early vs. Late Harvest

Olive harvesting period can be divided into three parts. The early harvest falls between October and November. Mid harvest is referring to olives harvested between November and December. Whereas late harvest happens in January to February of the following year.

When olives are sent to the oil extraction machine, they normally comprise of a mixture of different colours of olives. For early harvest, it consists of mostly green and reddish olives. For mid harvest olive oil, it is made up of predominantly reddish and slightly black olives with only few greens. Late harvest olive oil is produced from only black olives.

πŸ’‘ When an olive oil is called the First Day of Harvest, it simply means that this premium quality olive oil is produced from all green olives.

Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil

So which extra virgin olive oil is the best? The first day of harvest olive oil? Yes, may be. For some this is perfect, but not for all because it may be too green, too bitter and/spicier to taste. It could be too strong for them.

Then, how about the early harvest olive oil? Perhaps, and yes, most people would like it because it is not too bitter nor too mild. It is green but with hints of fruity and floral notes. It is likely well-balanced, and as healthy as the olive oil produced with all green olives harvested on the first day.

If you don’t like green vegetable, green fruit, perhaps, the mid harvest olive oil is for you. If you can recall, it is produced from mainly reddish and slightly black olives with few greens. The taste is mainly ripe-fruity, and perhaps with slight hint of grassy and herbaceous notes.

Late harvest olive oil is likely way too mild and flat for most if not all olive oil lovers. Its polyphenol content is also very very low, and hence we almost cannot taste its bitterness and spiciness. It is cheapest among the olive oil, though. It is a good choice for cooking.

The following table may help you decide which type of olive oil is best suited for you and your family.

Mid Sep – Mid OctMid Oct – Mid NovMid Nov – DecJan – Feb
Green Olivesβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” All Greenβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Mostly Greenβœ” Few Green
Reddish Olivesβœ” Some Reddishβœ”βœ”βœ” More Reddish
Black Olivesβœ” Few Slightly Blackβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” All Black
Taste Greenβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Greenestβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Mostly Greenβœ” Hint of Green
Taste Ripeβœ” Hints of Ripeβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Ripe-Fruityβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Mild
Health*βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Highestβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Medium-Highβœ”βœ”βœ” Mediumβœ” Low
Bitterβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Highestβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Medium-Highβœ”βœ”βœ” MediumNone (Almost)
Long Lasting**βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Longestβœ”βœ”βœ”βœ” Longerβœ”βœ”βœ” Moderateβœ” Just Okay
Price$$$$$ Priciest$$$$ Moderate$$$ Affordable$$ Cheapest
* The health benefits of olive oil is directly related to the amount of polyphenols in the olive oil.
** Freshness of the olive oil is dependent on the amount of the polyphenols in it. The higher the polyphenol is, the olive oil is less susceptible to oxidation and hence can last longer.
A side note: The olive varieties played an important part in the taste and health benefits of the olive oil.

How To Reap The Health Benefits Of Olive Oil?

Taste is subjective. Every individual has his/her own taste preference, and the usage goal. The best olive oil to you may not be to others. You like it bitter but he/she may like it mild and smooth. You use it raw but others prefer to cook with it.

The best olive oil is not about the brand or the country where it is produced from. It is not about how many awards it has won but whether it is fresh. It is not about the price but whether we can afford it for a long-term usage. It is not about how high the polyphenols are but whether we could accept the bitterness and spiciness, and more importantly, its taste. And it is very much all about knowing yourself or what you and your family members want from the olive oil.

What we are trying to say is, the best olive oil is the one you will want to use it again and again, daily, weekly, monthly, years-after-years.

To be more specific and actionable, you must first identify an olive oil your kids and family like, that is, they accept the taste and love it. After which, you will just ensure that the polyphenol count of this olive oil is at least 200 mg/kg. Once this is done, this olive oil will be the best for your kids and family.

The key point. It is all about persistent in use and sustainable for a long-term consumption. Only then, you can reap the health benefits of the olive oil.

Whatever it is, the olive oil we are referring to is the EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil.

Soler Romero First Day of Harvest (Organic)

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