Between the large number of existing olives, Picual variety wins widely in Spanish territory and all around the world. Specially in Jaen, where it occupies a 95% of the olive territory.
The main reason why is the most common variety comes from their properties and the properties of the resulting olive oil, without forgetting their agronomic characteristics.
We talk about a versatile variety, their trees provides an early fruit and abundance, and they adapt easily to different climates. These olives are very well suited to mechanized harvesting thanks to its size and its ease detachment.
But not everything could be advantages, as this variety doesn’t tolerate really well either calcareous soils or dry periods. Moreover, it’s difficult to obtain high quality oils since their skin is thin, and its pulp have not sufficiently consistent.
Still, it is the most heart-healthy because of its high concentration of oleic acid and polyphenols. And it has a classic characteristic bitterness and itchy on the palate.
Thanks to its resistance to high temperatures is recommended for frying, and its intensity enhances the flavor of hams, meats and cheeses.
Perhaps once again we can affirm that ‘the clothing that a person uses does not change who they are, but it can make them stand out’. And so, we have to blame this olive oil variety to be the responsible of the iberian ham tapas, or the well known Spanish fried fish (‘pescaito frito’)…