Organic extra virgin olive oil is the best organic olive oil

- Categories : Olive Oil

A farmer holds a small pile of organic olives in his hands

This article is about organic extra virgin olive oil, which is the best quality of Italian organic olive oil. Discover its organoleptic characteristics and the differences between the organic olive oils on the market, including in price.

☝ Good to know up front:

Organic extra virgin olive oil = organic cold-pressed olive oil An extra virgin olive oil is always a cold-pressed olive oil, whether organic or not. For this reason, the best organic olive oil is extra virgin.

What does organic olive oil mean?

Organic olive oil means olive oil from organic farming. Organic olive oil is obtained from olives that ripen on the trees without the use of chemical fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides.

The organic olives from which the organic olive oil is made are grown using only natural substances.

Organic extra virgin olive oil is by far the best organic olive oil as it preserves all the properties of extra virgin olive oil.

Is organic olive oil only made from organic olives?

Yes!

Organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil can only be certified if the olive oil has been produced from organic olives according to the guidelines of the European regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products (EU Regulation 2018/848).

This means that the organic oil producer only uses natural fertilisers such as manure and refrains from using chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

  • The stylised green leaf is the symbol of EU organic farming
  • The organic community logo is clearly visible on the bottle of organic extra virgin olive oil
The stylised green leaf is the symbol of EU organic farming. The organic logo is the easiest way to recognise an organic olive oil.

What is an organic oil mill?

A modern organic olive oil mill in Italy
A modern organic olive oil mill in Italy

The organic oil mill differs from the traditional oil mill because it produces organic oil exclusively from organic olives.

The organic chain is very strict: all production processes must comply with the EU regulation on organic production and labelling in order to obtain certification. An organic product must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.

One might think that the production of organic olive oil follows centuries-old production methods. Nothing could be further from the truth, because in reality organic oil production takes place in technologically advanced and innovative organic mills.

For example, some modern organic mills are able to produce organic evoo without air contact. This prevents contamination of the organic oil by non-natural substances.

EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How many olives are needed to produce one litre of extra virgin organic olive oil?

Organic olive oil production does not differ from conventional production in terms of yield: usually 5 to 7 kg of Italian olives are needed to produce 1 litre of extra virgin olive oil. The difference between 'traditional' and organic extra virgin olive oil lies in the method of cultivation of the olives.

1 l organic extra virgin olive oil = 5-7 kg organic olives

What is actually different is not the yield of the olives for oil, but the amount that can be grown, as no fertilisers or pesticides may be used to grow organic olives.

Learn more about olive oil for cooking and frying

Is extra virgin organic olive oil the best extra virgin olive oil?

In terms of taste, an organic extra virgin olive oil is no better than a traditional one. Therefore, the answer to the question whether organic extra virgin olive oil is the best extra virgin olive oil is: no.

But from an environmental and sustainability perspective, the answer is yes!

The cultivation of the olives and the production of the organic olive oil are sustainable because they are environmentally friendly.

The designation "organic", i.e. through ecological farming, on the bottle of an Italian olive oil gives us the certainty that the olives come from Italy and have been grown without the use of chemical fertilisers or genetic manipulation.

A field of olive trees is naturally fertilised by grazing sheep
A field of olive trees is naturally fertilised by grazing sheep

The cultivation of the olives and the production of the organic olive oil are sustainable because they are environmentally friendly.

☝ Organic farming is the first step towards a healthy and environmentally friendly diet. However, organic certification in itself is not an indicator of a better tasting extra virgin olive oil.

How much does organic extra virgin olive oil cost?

The price of organic extra virgin olive oil is generally higher than that of non-organic extra virgin olive oil.

The higher production costs are due to both the cost of organic certification (of the entire supply chain), the absolute ban on the use of chemical fertilisers and the area of origin of the olives. There are regions in Italy, such as Puglia, where the large quantity of olives grown makes it possible to better amortise the high production costs of organic oil.

Buy organic Puglia olive oil

This means that in areas where many olive trees are grown, the production costs for organic olive oil are lower than in areas where less olive oil is produced.

How can I save money if I want to buy organic Italian olive oil?

If you want to buy organic olive oil from Italy at a lower price without sacrificing good quality, it is definitely best to buy the larger packages, e.g. in 5-litre cans.

Buy Organic Olive Oil 5-litre canisters

As an alternative to the traditional can, you can also buy organic extra virgin olive oil in the practical bag-in-box: This format offers you an additional advantage over the classic 3- or 5-litre canister: you don't have to decant the olive oil after opening it!

 An excellent organic extra virgin olive oil that you can buy online in bag-in-box packaging is Organic Olive Oil Olivastro by Quattrociocchi.

Are all organic olive oils the same?

It depends.

The answer to this question depends on the perspective.

If we look at the production conditions, the answer is clearly yes. Italian organic olive oils are on a par with those from Spain or Greece, as they are produced according to the standards set out in EU regulations. This is the necessary condition for the oil to be labelled as organic.

The situation is quite different when we look at the organoleptic properties of organic olive oil, starting with the taste and flavour profile. In fact, different organic olive oils are distinct in both smell and taste!

Why do the different organic extra virgin oils taste different? The answer is simple: because they are made from different varieties of olives.

Ligurian organic extra virgin olive oil, for example, is made from Taggiasca olives, while Sicilian organic olive oil, which is characterised by its intense fruity flavour, is made from regional olive varieties such as Tonda Iblea, Nocellara del Belice, Moresca or Cerasuola.

Learn more about Italian olives

If you want to buy excellent organic olive oil from Puglia, you are spoilt for choice: all the major olive oil producers in Puglia, such as De Carlo, Galantino, Intini, Agrolio, Ceccolella and Muraglia, have been producing organic extra virgin olive oil for years. Almost all of these Apulian producers make their organic oil with the typical Apulian olive variety: the Coratina olive.

However, while Muraglia uses both the Coratina and the Peranzana olive for the production of its organic extra virgin olive oil, Galantino uses the Coratina and the Ogliarola olive.

Sicily also produces a lot of organic olive oil.

Frantoi Cutrera, for example, produces its famous Primo organic olive oil in glass bottles as well as in three- and five-litre canisters.

Other important producers of Sicilian organic oil are Titone, Agrestis and the famous Centonze oil mill, which also produces a pure organic extra virgin oil in a beautiful gift box.

Tuscany cannot be forgotten in our overview of the best organic Italian olive oils. If you want to buy an excellent organic olive oil from Tuscany, you will find the organic olive oils from Franci and from the Bardi Carraia olive oil mills in our shop.

These Tuscan olive oils have a medium to intense fruity flavour and are excellent with fish dishes, bruschetta, salads or pinzimonio.

In Lazio, the Quattrociocchi oil mill produces an organic extra virgin olive oil that is probably unrivalled in Italy.

The wide variety of Italian olives makes it possible to produce organic oils with different flavours (depending on the olive variety, the olives can be sweeter or bitter). The timing of the olive harvest also influences the strength of the fruity taste of organic olive oil:

Finally, there are organic olive oils with a DOP or IGP status and even single-varietal (monocultivar) organic olive oils made from a single olive variety, strictly organic of course.

The large number of olive varieties in Italy ensures a variety of organic olive oils that is unique in the world.

BIOL: Organic olive oil award

Have you ever heard of the BIOL Award?

BIOL is the most important international competition for organic extra virgin olive oil.

It is not an eco-test by the German Stiftung Warentest, but an event that takes place every year and is attended by industry experts from all over the world.

With 27 editions, the BIOL Award is the largest international event for high-quality organic evoo.

☝ Extra virgin organic olive oils from all over the world - not only Italian organic olive oils - are tested at BIOL.

The Biol Award is presented annually by Biol Italia, the most important association of Italian organic oil producers.

The association works to promote organic extra virgin oil through:

  • training olive oil experts
  • participation in international trade fairs
  • the awarding of the BIOL prize

Every year, the BIOL Award for the best organic extra virgin olive oil in the world is given by an international jury of 42 professional tasters from 18 different countries. More than 500 extra virgin olive oil producers as well as consumer associations, tasters and experts participate.

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