Picual olives in Catalonia
|Olive (Olea europaea)|
The Picual is an olive cultivar from Spain. Picual olives are the most commonly grown olive today for olive oil production, with production centered in the Spanish province of Jaén. Picual trees are estimated to account for 25% of all olive oil production in the world. Naturally, this varietal is very high in oil content, at 20-27% by weight.
Virgin olive oil from Picual olives have high levels of polyphenols (an organic compound which is known to have antioxidant effects), typically between 300 and 700ppm. Many Picual groves are primarily harvested when ripe or overripe to maximize oil content, and thus produce oil with poor taste qualities. Less than one quarter of the harvest each year qualifies as Extra Virgin.
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