Picual Spanish Olive Oil is the most consumed olive oil in the world, versus Royal Spanish Olive Oil which is local and limited edition from Cazorla’s mountains in Andalusia. In this post we are going to talk about these varieties, when to use each one and their properties. Do not forget to visit our website to buy one of the best spanish olive oil in North America.
Picual oil is the most produced and marketed oil worldwide due to its characteristics and beneficial properties for our health. In Spain, there are around 200 types of olives cultivated for the oil production. Therefore, there are more than 200 different types of olive oil if we count the monovarietal and the «coupage», which are olive oils made from several varieties.
There are countless varieties of olives and types of oil, but among them all, there is one that stands out above the rest, picual spanish olive oil.
The picual olive variety, also known as Marteña, is one of the most common olive varieties in the world, 20% of the total world crop. In addition, it is also the most common in the fields of the provinces of Granada, Jaén and Córdoba.
Currently, this olive variety is grown on more than 900,000 hectares worldwide.
This olive variety, with a pointed end (hence its name), produces one of the most valued and most common oils in the world.
The success of this type of olive is due to the fact that it is a variety with a great capacity to adapt to all types of soils and climates. There are other varieties that are weak to cold winters or very hot and dry summers.
Discover below the characteristics and properties of one of the spanish olive oils with the most personality in the market.
Its color can range from greenish to golden depending on the time of harvesting and extraction.
The earliest harvests, between the end of October and the first half of November, give rise to green oil, a type of oil excellent for raw consumption, with a greenish color and an intense bitterness and spiciness with notes of grass, pasture, almond and tomato.
The later harvest, which precedes the so-called green oil, produces softer oils, with an intense fruitiness, but with a less strong bitterness and spiciness. This type of oil has a lighter color, between greenish and golden, with notes of fig leaf and artichoke.
This type of oil, due to its strong bitter and spicy character, may be rejected by consumers who are not used to consuming extra virgin olive oil.
Picual oil is high in unsaturated fatty acids, specifically 99.9% of this oil is healthy fat, which makes it an excellent ally for our body and our health.
Due to this fatty composition, picual oil is a type of oil with high conservation capacity and resistant to oxidation and high temperatures. Picual oil is the most recommended oil for frying and canning.
Picual olive oil has unique characteristics that are totally different from other types of oil. For this reason, its use is recommended in a great variety of moments of our daily life.
- Picual olive oil is ideal to be consumed raw. We can give a special touch to our salads, toasts or to achieve a differentiating touch in any of our recipes.
- This type of oil is the most recommended for use at high temperatures and for long periods of time. Due to its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, picual oil resists high temperatures. Therefore, it is perfect for frying with olive oil, breading and cooking for long periods of time.
- It can be used in the canning of meats, cheeses, fish, etc. Picual oil is very resistant to oxidation and aging. For this reason it is a perfect preservative, allowing us to preserve food for long periods of time.
- It is also a powerful moisturizer for our skin and hair due to its high content of vitamins A, E and K. These vitamins make olive oil a perfect ally as a moisturizer, as an anti-aging agent and as a repairing ointment.
The most important property of this Royal Spanish Olive Oil from the Sierra de Cazorla Region is that it is made with a native olive and, therefore, it is a unique oil that is also protected by the Protected Designation of Origin Sierra de Cazorla, which guarantees its quality and origin.
It is considered a gourmet oil due to its unquestionable quality. It comes from olives that can be recognized by their red color, rigorously selected and subjected to a careful elaboration.
These olives have a low oil content, but the oil obtained from them is smooth, without bitterness and spiciness. Its production is very limited due to how hard the olives are attached to the branches, this makes the recollection harder and many farmers avoid them in their groves.
As we have few Royal olive trees we produce only Royal of Early Harvest. In the early harvest the olives are still green and the Royal Early Oil obtained has an intense green color and a more pronounced aroma and flavor.
Royal Sierra de Cazorla Oil is a food with a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, which helps us to maintain normal cholesterol levels and protects us from cognitive deterioration, related to aging and Alzheimer’s disease. It also has a high content of vitamin E and polyphenols, which contribute to the protection of cells against oxidative damage.
It is advisable to start consuming it before puberty and to maintain it throughout life.
Royal Extra Virgin Olive Oil is included in the protected designation of origin Sierra de Cazorla and represents only 5% of the world production. This PDO includes the municipalities of Cazorla, Chilluévar, Hinojares, Huesa, La Iruela, Peal de Becerro, Pozo Alcón, Quedasa and Santo Tomé.
Light green in color with yellowish reflections, its flavor is mild, with little presence of bitterness and a very slight spiciness. When the olive is harvested green, its oil gives off aromas of almond, apple and green banana and when harvested later, it gains in sweetness and its aromas are reminiscent of vanilla, ripe fruits, figs or nuts. In the background we can find aromas of green ear of corn and lemon leaf.
On the palate we can appreciate that slight bitterness and that late fruity spiciness, with an almond aftertaste and great persistence.
Its organoleptic profile is very different from other EVOOs such as picuals, in which the bitterness is more intense. This makes these oils very sought after, especially by those who prefer milder flavors, and is causing olive trees of this species to be replanted after years of decline.
It is also very remarkable for its high content in vitamin E and polyphenols, excellent natural antioxidants that contribute to the protection of cells, as well as in monounsaturated fatty acids, ideal for maintaining normal cholesterol levels while protecting us from cognitive deterioration, related to aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
In gastronomy, Royal Spanish Olive Oil is recommended for raw consumption in preparations such as salads, toasts, gazpachos and salmorejos or mayonnaise, as well as with baked or pickled blue fish and in confectionery. The “coupage” (when the oil in question does not come from a single variety but is a mixture or blend of at least 2 types of olives) of the Royal and Picual varieties is also achieving a high valuation, with which very singular sensory notes are obtained, since the first one allows cushioning part of the spiciness and bitterness of the second one without losing its original characteristics.
Royal oil has similar taste qualities to the arbequina variety, which makes its use similar. However, its high cost limits its use in cooking.
- Raw dressings for salads, vegetables, pasta and rice dishes.
- Preparation of mild or sweet sauces.
- Elaboration of sweet desserts with dairy bases.
- As a seasoning for fish and seafood.
What are the main differences between the royal and picual varieties? Below, we show you the most relevant ones.
- Production area: While picual is present throughout Andalusia, royal is produced in very specific areas of Cazorla and Quesada.
- The royal olive is larger than the picual, although the yield is somewhat lower.
- The ripening date of royal oil is later, normally between 2 and 3 weeks later, depending on the year.
- The concentration of polyphenols in the Royal variety is higher, being the highest of all Spanish varieties.
- Royal oil is softer and sweeter, as opposed to the bitterness, pungency and intensity of Picual.
- The level of fruitiness of royal oil is somewhat lower, although there is little variation.
- The price of royal oil is usually higher on average, around 1 – 3 $ more per liter. Although for retail sale, this depends entirely on each brand.
We recommend using both types of EVOO depending on the type of processing you are going to use it for. Remember that in our store you have the best EVOO to buy at an economical price.
Two of the most consumed olive oils are Picual and Royal. How many times we have not known which one we should use in our elaborations or which one we should buy. In this post we are going to talk about these varieties, when to use each one and their properties. Do not forget to visit our website to buy the best olive oil and extra virgin olive oil.