Spanish olive oil, which has long been prized for its flavor and quality, is now beginning to be recognized internationally as a luxury good. Spanish olive oil has a long history that begins in the untamed groves of Toledo and ends in the olive-rich Andalusian region of Jaen.
Mystery-1: The olive harvest season in Spain is a crucial time that spans from October to February and is characterized by extreme caution and accuracy. Techniques for harvesting olives require a careful balance between the workforce and machines to shock the trees just enough to release them without hurting them. The trees go through a lot throughout this process, but getting the best olives is necessary.
Earlier this week, 68,000 gallons of adulterated olive oil was seized by Italian and Spanish law enforcement.
— Gregory Zenin, Editor @ Food Jungle (@foodjungle2023) December 8, 2023
Probably one of the most European things I have ever read lol. #oliveoil #oils #Spain #Italy https://t.co/hmhS41ffJY
Mystery 2: Not only is Spanish olive oil harvested with great care, but it also boasts a wealth of knowledge in both farming and processing. Spain sets trends in the olive oil industry rather than merely producing olive oil. The characteristics of the market in Jaen, Spain’s olive oil capital, significantly impact the price of olive oil globally. The cost of a liter has increased significantly in both the producer and retail sectors in recent years. Despite this, a substantial market for Spanish olive oil exists worldwide.
Mystery-3: Outside of its boundaries, Spain is the industry leader in olive oil. It has created olive plantations in the US and provides Italy, its primary rival, with significant olive oil. Due to its growth and rising exports, olive oil is now more expensive domestically, prompting some analysts to label it as a new luxury.
Mystery-4: Interestingly, the historically male-dominated Spanish olive oil sector is changing, with businesses like the 150-year-old García de la Cruz setting the standard for supply chain management and global export. Compared to local sales, they can fetch more excellent pricing overseas countries such as Japan and the US, which is one of their success stories.
Mystery-5 In contrast, olive oil costs less in nearby nations like Portugal and France. Market speculation and the intrinsic importance of Spanish people on olive oil—not just as a gourmet treat but as an essential component of their cuisine—are blamed for this discrepancy.
Mystery-6: Olive oil is produced and priced differently throughout the world, with Greece and Italy being two nations that are well-known for their premium output. Every region adds to the rich tapestry of the olive oil business with its distinct flavor profile and production methods.
Mystery-7: The reshaping of traditional staples into premium products is a trend in the food market, shown in the evolution of Spanish olive oil into a luxury commodity. This change reflects the products’ cultural and culinary legacy as much as their price.