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19-02-2014

Olive Oil from Portugal

Portugal has a long tradition in cultivating olives and producing olive oil! Over the last 10 years considerable efforts have been made both to increase national production and improve quality. As a result, Portugal has managed to double its productive capacity over the last 5 years!

The olive tree probably first appeared in Syria and is to be found everywhere in the Mediterranean basin. Because of its ability to survive under the harshest of conditions, the olive tree has traditionally served as a symbol of eternity. The production of olive oil in Portugal was first registered in 1392 in Evora!

What is Azeite?
The Portuguese word "Azeite" derives from the arabic expression Az-zait, which explains everything about olive oil. It simply means juice of the olive! So, olive oil is nothing but a pure juice.

Olive oil is only obtained by mechanical crushing and grinding. Most other vegetable oils are extracted chemically. Olive oil is the only oil ready for use right after crushing. And it’s 100% natural! It is a product with no negative effects at all. To get a great oil without organoleptic defects the olives must be crushed within 24 hours following the harvest. The specific taste of an olive oil results from the distinctive combination of the following factors: Variety, climate, soil and degree of latitude.

Producing olive oil:
The olives are washed and cleaned by water and filters within the first 24 hour after harvest. They are then ground by large millstones into a paste which is slowly mixed “malaxation”. In today’s modern mills this all happens without light and oxygen to avoid unwanted oxidation (which decreases quality).

The resulting paste is heated normally to ca. 30º to max. 35º C and pressed again. Heating to a higher temperature would destroy the more volatile ingredients such as some vitamins and antioxidants. If the temperature does not exceed 27 ºC the oil can be called “cold pressed” which means it has retained more nutrients.

After the extraction solid and liquid parts are then separated by centrifuge resulting in 3 end products: Olive oil, Water „Agua Russa“ (dangerous for the environment) and a remaining paste called „Bagaço de Azeitona“ which is used for heating or feeding animals.
Try our olive oil from Portugal and enjoy this unique taste!

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