One of the most outstanding products in the second box of “Delicias de Aquí” is the Parqueoliva Serie Oro, considered one of the best oils in the world and a delight for the tasters’ senses. Without a doubt, a gourmet product “brand of Spain”.
It is no secret that the olive tree is a tree closely related to the gastronomy and economy of Spain and most Mediterranean countries. Its raw material is an indispensable good on all the tables of our country and, in economic terms, it is a fundamental sector in Spanish exports.
So much so that, according to data published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food in the Annual Report on Foreign Trade for 2019, olive oil is among the most exported products by Spain in 2019, representing up to 71% of the Oils and Fats group’s exports and being the third most important, only behind pork and citrus fruits.
In addition, olive oil exports in 2019 amounted to 1,077,213 tons, 19.6% more than in 2018 and the highest figure since 2015. The value of exports, starting in 2015, has grown by 10.7% until 2019, reaching maximum levels in 2017, with an export value of 3,674.68 million euros. But where does this close relationship between the olive tree and Spain come from?
A MILLENARY HISTORY
The truth is that this relationship between the olive tree and Spain has been going on for centuries. The history goes back to the Egyptians, the first to start using this raw material for daily tasks some 5,000 years ago, using the oil itself obtained in tasks such as lighting their own homes, among other uses.
Later, the Phoenicians were responsible for spreading the olive tree throughout the Greek islands and the Hellenic Peninsula, until in the 4th century BC decrees were issued on the plantation itself. Later on, the Romans continued with the expansion of the olive tree through the Mediterranean countries as these were conquering territories.
Thus, the olive tree arrived in Spain with the Phoenicians around 1050 BC, although it was the Romans who populated the entire Iberian Peninsula with olive trees, making it one of the main exporters of olive oil. It was at this very moment when we began to see the exploitation of the olive tree as it is known today growing in our land. Its importance was such that the Emperor Hadrian minted coins with an olive branch and the legend: Hispania. Furthermore, with the arrival of the Arabs new varieties were introduced, especially in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, and new words such as “aceite”, which comes from the word “al-zait”, olive juice.
For this reason, and after thousands of years of assent and exports, a close relationship has been formed to the point of creating an own identity already embedded in the 21st century in our way of understanding gastronomy and the day to day life of our country.
LA SUBBÉTICA OIL – PARQUEOLIVA SERIE ORO – AOVE
To talk about the oil included in our second box is to talk about Almazaras de la Subbética, a first grade agricultural cooperative. This was created in July 2007 and comes from the merger of two prestigious and experienced cooperatives: S.C.A. Virgen del Castillo and S.C.A. Olivarera Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno, both with more than 60 years of experience in the sector.
Thus, Almazaras de la Subbética has been working since its beginnings for some values. They believe that it is really important to bet for the maximum quality of their products, for the respect for the farmer, the satisfaction of their clients, the care of the environment and the active collaboration with the most disadvantaged sectors of the society, points with which the cooperative tries to maintain a close relationship and that has led them to become one of the great referents of the extra virgin olive oils at world-wide level.
Almazaras de la Subbética is located in the Natural Park of the Sierras Subbéticas, a protected and declared area of environmental interest. Its farmers have managed to overcome the obstacles of the rugged terrain of their plantations and the higher costs of tilling and harvesting. With the modernization of the cultivation techniques and the use of small and modern machinery, they have been able to adapt tradition and technology to the high quality standards demanded by the most demanding consumers.
For this reason, the olive tree is the germ of all the activity of the oil mill, that is why they believe that it is fundamental to take care of the process from the beginning, with sustainable techniques for the environment that protect the biodiversity and landscaping wealth of the surroundings. All the people who are part of Almazaras de la Subbética feel a true connection with this Mediterranean tree, which year after year gives us its best fruits.