About the color and clarity of olive oil
Olive oil 101
All over the world, from Italy to California, official jury members of Olive Oil tasting contests must use blue tinted tasting glasses, closed by hand with a watch glass, to judge the quality of Olive Oil. Why a blue glass? Because the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) ruled that no jury member should be influenced by the color or the clarity of the olive oil, being of no consequence to its quality. Although it is true that a very fruity olive oil is associated with a green color and a golden yellow oil will usually have a neutral almost sweet taste, both olive oils could be judged top quality according to international rules.
Olive oil can vary in color from dark green to golden yellow and even brown, and there are two important factors that will greatly determine the color and taste of fresh olive oil.
These two factors are the varietal of olive and the moment of harvesting. Some Spanish varieties such as Verdell, Picual, Picudo, Argudell and Cornicabra, as well as the Italian Frantoia, are by nature greener than Empeltre, Arbequina or Hojiblanca. But the moment of harvesting can strongly reinforce that.
Olives are always greenest when they are young. This phenomenon is caused by a high content of a natural green pigment called chlorophyll as well as a massive quantity of natural chemical anti-oxidants called poly-phenols. While the chlorophyll, through photosynthesis, allows the plant to absorb energy from light, the poly-phenols provide a bitter taste to the fruits, thereby staving off early predators, like insects and birds.
In most Mediterranean countries it is the second half of October that the harvest begins. At Can Solivera we adhere to the Mediterranean way of harvesting, as early as possible, to guarantee the best tasting olive oil, full of anti-oxidants, which are beneficial to your health!
By the end of November the last of our olives will have been picked from the trees, late for us, yet early enough to deliver a splendid aroma with an interesting and slightly mature after-taste.
All fresh olive oil is cloudy. That is because minuscule particles of fruit escape with the oil during the pressing. Most producers will quickly remove them using artificial filters, but with the disadvantage that some of the original scent and flavor will disappear along with the bits of pulp.
Many connoisseurs actually prefer cloudy olive oil. That is why Can Solivera has chosen not to use filters and to let nature do the work. If the oil is allowed to rest at room temperature for a longer period (2 to 3 months), the particles will gradually sink to the bottom and the oil will become clear.
Olive oil that is pressed, using a traditional stone mill and straw mats, has more fruit particles than when it is centrifuged. Therefore, it can take longer, up to half a year, before it clears up. The residue on the bottom of the bottle is normal and by no means unhealthy.