Choosing and Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How to choose and use extra virgin olive oil

Tasting 

Like any good wine or cheese, a well-made extra virgin olive oil has its own distinct terroir, taste and aroma. Our oils are made from olives that are harvested relatively early so there’s usually a fresh “green” flavour where, depending on the oil, notes like green tomatoes, almond, artichoke, and even wood can be detected. This is then followed by fruitier notes like banana, quince, apple and fig. Finally, as with all well-made early harvest oils, there's a clean often slight spicy or astringent finish. Obviously, each oil has its own distinct flavour profile so check out the tasting notes on each oil to learn more.

Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil

You can cook with our oils but the real flavour is revealed when you enjoy them raw - drizzled on bread or toast, in salads or as finishing oils for dips, vegetables, grilled (or barbecued) meats and fish.

Several are great for desserts - try any Picual drizzled over chocolate ice-cream. Sounds strange….until you try it!

Which is the Extra Virgin Olive Oil for me?

The answer to this one is really a question of your own personal taste. I keep a selection of oils in my kitchen that I use for different dishes and over time you’ll find you probably want to do the same. If you're new to authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oils (aka EVOO) Cortijo Espiritiu Santo Picual is a great place to start. This one’s a beauty - creamy, complex, balanced with a clean finish that everyone loves. It works well with just about everything and is exceptional on tomatoes. Its slightly sweeter sister Cortijo Espiritiu Santo Arbequina is made with the Arbequina varietal and is brilliant on both sweet and savoury salads but can also be splashed on pretty much everything you eat with great results. 

Our Marques de Viana oils Palacio Marques de Viana- The Palace Blend and Marques de Viana Palace - Sublime Early Harvest made by the much-lauded house of Castillo de Canena are for those who want to try something a little bit different. Both are made by master blenders and are guaranteed to wow anyone looking for a unique and beautifully crafted oil.

Finally, we have Pagos de Toral Picual an oil very special for us. When you taste it it's not hard to see why it has been awarded best in the world. It's quite simply exquisite. Use on everything but see it really come into its own with tomatoes (try a simple salad) and chocolate (try it drizzled over chocolate ice-cream).

How to use Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Looking after your Extra Virgin Olive Oils

To keep your oils at their best avoid light, air and heat - all oils degrade when exposed to these three things. Keep them in a dark bottle or tin or, in a cupboard.