Arbequina

This olive tree is small and delicate yet frost hardy and pest resistant. It is very highly regarded because it produces a large amount of fruit with a high oil yield. The trees tend to be low to the ground and are suited to hand rather than mechanical harvesting. It thrives in long, hot, dry summers.

The crop is costly due to the small size of the fruit but the oil percentage is high so it is worth the work. These oils are dense and fluid, tasting of orchard fruits , rarely bitter and very stable.

 

Empeltre

An Ebro delta special from Tarragona to Castellon

The tree is small, very vigorous, upright in shape and thick on top with very productive branches. It does however have a low tolerance to draught and frost. It has short and narrow leaves with an elliptical lance shape. The front part is light green and greyish-green at the back. It is often grafted onto other root stock (“empelt” is Catalan for graft) to give two varieties on the same tree.

They produce smooth oils, of a pale yellow color, sweet and aromatic, with no bitter taste, which makes them ideal for mixing with stronger oils.

The oils are  ideal in sauces, marinades, vinaigrettes or to add a special touch to boiled or steamed dishes

 

Hojiblanca

This is a vigorous tree with long fruit bearing branches.  It has an average sized crown and dense foliage.  Its name means white leaf and this refers to the back of the leaves. The olive is large and is spherical in shape.

It blossoms in the second week in May and is late to mature.

Oils produced from the Hojiblanca are ideal for the diet.

Recommended for frying, this oil is also ideal for making bread, pasta and pastries due to the perfect consistency it gives to dough. These olives are also widely used and appreciated as black table olives, thanks to the firmness their flesh.

 Farca

This is a very old variety and is believed to date back to the Moorish occupation of Spain.

The trees are very vigorous with a spreading shape and dense canopy. The leaves are elliptical in shape and of medium width. The fruit doesn’t harvest easily and neither does it give up its oil readily. Harvesting by hand and traditional milling are the best ways with this olive tree and her fruit. They produce a high yield but this is on alternate years.  The trees flower and ripen their crops early.

This tree is resistant to some diseases.

The oil is smooth and delicate and is much valued in Haute Cuisine.

 Sevillano

This tree is also known as  Gordal, Gordal Sevillano and Sevillana. The  variety is grown extensively around around Baix Ebre-Montsia, south of Tarragona.

The trees can get to be very big if left un-pruned, up to a height of 8 – 11 m They have a large spreading canopy. They are resistant to cold and some say they actually enjoy a cold snap in order to flower.

The fruit does not yield much oil but they are prized for the table.  The  flesh is light green turning purplish-black when ripe and of good texture for pickling. The fruit is best picked by hand and early if possible when the flesh is firmer as it bruises easily.

 

Marut

From the Reguers area of Tortosa.  Almost exclusively a local tree.  A late maturer  it has become more popular over the last decades especially where there are Fargas and Sevillenca as well. The tree is of average vitality. It doesn’t produce much fruit and needs deep and rich ground. It has an open shape and a dense thicket top. It is definitely a slow starter but is happy with mechanical harvesting.  Thankfully this one is wind and pest resistant.

The fruit it carries ripens late and is oval with a round base and a wine colour at ripening. The oil it produces has hints of fresh leaves and a fruity aroma. Sweet and smooth in the mouth with tomato clean, astringent after notes. There are hints of unripe almonds about the oil.

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