Have you ever wondered which is the mildest extra virgin olive oil? Of the different olive oils that we find in Spain, the Arbequina variety is the smoothest of them all. In this light and balanced oil, the aroma nuances of dried fruits and ripe fruits such as apple and banana predominate. Moreover, due to its slight bitterness and spiciness, it’s the perfect product to use with any type of dish, whether sweet or salty. Did you know about the versatility of the Arbequina variety? Let us talk more about its different virtues:
Everything you need to know about the Arbequina olive variety and its oil:
- What is Arbequina extra virgin olive oil?
- What are the characteristics of arbequina oil?
- What uses does the olive oil of this variety have?
1. What is Arbequina extra virgin olive oil?
Arbequina olive oil is obtained from the Arbequina olive, a small quality fruit with an excellent fat yield and is very aromatic. Although its origin takes us to present-day Palestine, this is one of the olive varieties that you will find mostly in Catalonia, in provinces such as Tarragona and Lleida where it began to be cultivated and from whose town, Arbeca, it’s named after. In addition, Arbequina is highly present in Mallorca and more and more in regions of Andalusia.
Like other olive oils, Arbequina has a considerable amount of polyphenols and antioxidants and a high percentage of oleic acid, thanks to which it’s possible to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). As you may know, in diets such as the Mediterranean, the consumption of extra virgin olive oil over other fat sources has proven to have multiple health benefits.
But, in addition, the intrinsic features of this olive provide the consumer with many more advantages, so let’s discover other organoleptic properties from this olive oil variety, especially the Arbequina extra virgin olive oil:
2. What are the characteristics of arbequina oil?
Like the olive from which it comes, arbequina extra virgin oil is a very fragrant olive juice, with fruity touches. Since it has a very light spicy and bitterness, it can also be considered harmoniously sweet, hence it’s the perfect olive oil variety to use with any type of culinary elaborations and for any palate.
More specifically, bananas and even ripe apples are the notes that can be most appreciated in the arbequina olive oil. In addition, at the olfactory level, this oil can remind you of fresh artichoke, nuts such as almonds, even aromatic herbs. Of course, everything depends on the peculiarities of each region.
For example, ours is an oil that’s obtained from the olive harvest in the veraison (between October and November) when the fruit is almost green, and it’s possible to guarantee a higher concentration of polyphenols and natural antioxidants. This way, we can offer the maximum complexity of aroma and flavour coming from the fruit.
3. What uses does the olive oil of this variety have?
Since Arbequina variety extra virgin olive oil is much smoother and more aromatic than other oils, it’s an excellent option for any recipe. In fact, many people, including expert cooks, prefer this variety over others since it’s not overpowering, and it doesn’t hide the main ingredients’ flavours of a dish.
In addition, the Arbequina variety is ideal to start the children in the consumption of extra virgin olive oil, since their palate is much more sensitive to certain flavours. On the other hand, it’s also the best choice to replace less healthy sources of fat for those adults who had not tried the extra virgin olive oil before.
Likewise, for those people who knew extra virgin olive oil and had not prepared their sweetest recipes with this product, it’s worth mentioning that, thanks to its flavour and smoothness, it’s an excellent alternative to butter. The art of baking can become healthier if you use this oil, for example, to make muffins, cookies and cakes.
In its raw version, the Arbequina variety extra virgin olive oil is truly exquisite on toast. In this case, we cannot fail to refer to the traditional Mallorcan pa amb oli that we love so much. Also, if you want to make hummus, guacamole or emulsified sauces such as mayonnaise and aioli, as well as vinaigrettes this olive oil will help you achieve the most delicate and smooth flavour possible.
Cold and warm salads can also benefit from Arbequina oil, especially those made with fruit ingredients and raw nuts or previously roasted with the same oil. And, thanks to its flavour, on purees and soups it’s also the best dressing you could add.
Besides these uses, Arbequina extra virgin olive oil is excellent for making doughs, loaves of bread, empanadas, preserves, pickles, etc. And in the preparation of fish, seafood and rice it is also the most recommended oil to obtain a delicious dish where the flavours of the raw material are going to be the protagonists.
If you want to know delicious recipes made with this extra virgin olive oil, we invite you to our gourmet section.