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World's best extra-virgin olive oil is Spanish
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 @ 7:34 PM

A SPANISH-MADE extra-virgin has been named the world's best olive oil in the most recent annual guide to the 100 highest-ranked by international experts.

The EVOOLEUM 2022 (second picture) is now out – the sixth edition of the guidebook which covers all brands that have earned one of the global awards by compilers Mercacei, in conjunction with the Spanish Association of Olive-Growing Municipalities (AEMO).

The world's top 10 extra-virgin olive oils, or EVOOs (both photos: EVOOLEUM)

Each type described is given a full breakdown of its qualities, along with details of where it comes from, its characteristics, olive variety, type of olive tree, tourism activities linked to its production, whether it is certified as organic, Kosher or Halal, the dishes it combines best with, a rating of its flavour and an overall score, as well as a photo of the bottle and label.

As is typical when producing the EVOOLEUM annual guide, over 800 samples from around 20 countries were received by the panel of judges.

Those which made the cut this year came from 10 countries – Spain, plus Italy, Croatia, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, the USA, Argentina and Slovenia.

Olives used for oil are hugely diverse – for the uninitiated, it may come as a surprise to learn that at least 15 varieties were among the entries that made the top 100, most of which are endemic to their countries of origin.

Spain's best included oils from the Picual, Hojiblanca, Cornicabra, Arbequina, Pajarera, Picuda and Pico Limón varieties of olives; Morocco's included the Picholine; Greek ones included the Koroneiki and Tsounati; Croatia's featured the Bianchera Istriana; and Italian oils were made with, among others, the Coratina, Frantoio, Bosana and Dritta.

Although Italian extra-virgin olive oils hog half the top 10, Spain is not far behind, with four, whilst Croatia gained a number-three slot with its Monte Rosso Grand Selection from Istria, made with the varieties Leccino, Bianchera Istriana, Pendolino, Maurino and Picholine.

Italy gained a second place with its Monini Monocultivar Frantoio Bio, from Perugia, made with the Frantoio olive, but Spain once again topped the list with its Olibaeza Premium Picual from Jaén.

The label and bottle designed by Isabel Cabello was as highly praised as the content, and earned 97 points from the judges.

Fractions of a point have not been stated, but given that numbers two to four were shown as having gained 96, it is likely these were involved, otherwise the EVOOLEUM Awards 2022 would have featured three joint second-placed brands.

The fourth- and fifth-placed oils were also Spanish – the Almaoliva Arbequino, from Córdoba, made with the Arbequina olive, and the Rincón de la Subbética Altitude, also from Córdoba and made with the Hojiblanca variety, earning 95 points.

Italy took the sixth to ninth slots inclusive, with the Schinosa La Coratina and the Di Molfetta Frantoiani, both from the Barletta-Andria-Trani areas; the Giove, and the Natyoure Organic, both Coratina-olive oils and from Bari, in that order, and each with 95 points.

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