Barcelona Photoblog: Catalan Olives and Where to Buy Best Olive Oil in Barcelona

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Catalan Olives and Where to Buy Best Olive Oil in Barcelona


Olives and the oil extracted from them are the very essence of Mediterranean countries. They permeate our traditions, our idiosyncrasy and our very existence, since they give us health too. Wild olives were collected by Neolithic peoples as early as the 8th millennium BC. Its trees were grown even before language came to life. Shrub-like "feral" olives still exist in the Middle East and represent the original stock from which all other olives are descended. 

Oil was used to anoint athletes after winning or was applied to the dead. Olive oil purifies and soothes the soul, cleanses the mind. Does that mean that if you use the extra virgin kind, would you be cleaner?. I digress. By the way, virgin or extra virgin, means that you do not use chemicals to produce it, that you get the oil just by pressing the olives. 


In Catalonia, there are many varieties of olives that are cultivated across the region. Among them you have the picual (very common and responsible for 25 % of all oil in the world), the empeltre (black) , the arbequina (smaller, very tasty and one of my favorites). Also cornicabra, blanqueta, farga, manzanilla fina and sevillana just to mention some. 

Before buying olive oil you should know that some of them really make the difference. There is good Andalusian oil, and there is good Catalan oil, and so on. I have bought myself extremely good olive oil in Priego, Cordoba for example and have found good rivals many times in oils produced in Lleida, Catalonia. 

Here is a good article on where to buy excellent olive oil in Barcelona  

At the local markets you can find gourmet stands specialized in Catalan olive oil like this one at Mercat de la Concepció from Les Garrigues, Lleida   where you can buy excellent Arbequina extra virgin olive oil 

But where to buy the olives? I recommend you visit this stand at Mercat de Sant Antoni Olives i Conserves Torres.

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