Imagine you’re in your kitchen at home, visualize the bottle of Mis Raíces oil on the counter surrounded by ingredients, dishes, kitchen cloths, cutlery—in fact, maybe you’re there right now—and ask yourself this question:
What journey might this oil have made to end up here in my house?
Yes, we know: people are curious by nature, just maybe not that curious. But if we can have your attention for the four or five minutes it’ll take to delve into this article, we’re sure that it’ll pique your interest and you’ll gain a new perspective on the production process of our Empeltre extra virgin olive oil.
So, are you coming with us?
November usually marks the start of the journey for Mis Raíces, and it gets underway in Bajo Aragón, where master miller Javier Sánchez selects the best olives—once they reach the point of perfect ripeness— from all the olive growers in the surrounding areas such as Oliete, Albalate and Hijar. We should highlight here what an important role choosing the right olives plays in the end result; there’s no point meticulously following a process if the base materials are substandard.
As they rightly say in Aceite de oliva, "There’s no such thing as a good quality oil made with poor quality olives".
Once the best olives have been chosen, we transport them to the mill, where we remove the leaves, stems and twigs, and wash the fruit. At this point we move on to the milling through a continuous two-step system that enables the cold extraction of the oil.
Do you know exactly what grinding the olives does? It’s very simple:
The grinding allows the structure of the olive to be broken down without removing the stone, to obtain the liquid part. Malaxation, on the other hand, which is the other part of the process, consists of separating the paste from the other elements. These two steps give rise to the olive paste that will then be used to make the oil. Shall we go on?
The next step of the journey that ends with that bottle of oil sitting on your countertop is to transfer the oily paste we have obtained to a decanter. Here, their different densities will cause the oil to separate from the skin, stone and vegetation water of the olive. After this first pass, it is then transferred to another decanter, and the process is repeated to ensure the complete removal of any remaining residue. Only then can the oil be stored in our stainless-steel silos, where it will be left to settle, resulting in an excellent quality product. Lastly, before being bottled, the oil is filtered to ensure that it reaches your hands in the best possible conditions.
Did you find that interesting? Were you familiar with the process or was this the first chance you’ve had to explore it?
Whatever your answer, we’ve done our part to let you know more about the roots of the oil that will accompany your best dishes. From here on, we leave the rest of this gourmet journey to you ...