Do you know the difference between early harvest extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil obtained later? Well, let's get to it! The 2021/2022 harvest Armónico 2021/2022 contains these two types of EVOO and we would like to share some important notes.
Early harvest oils are oils with very particular characteristics, obtained with the early start of the olive harvest. It is the oil Early harvest oil produced by an oil mill during the season, and its aroma and flavor are more intense than those of oil produced later in the season.
A distinctive feature of early harvest oils is the complexity of their production, from harvesting to extraction.
Early olives are harvested from early October to November (depending on the weather, the territory and the olive variety), when most of the olives are still green and some begin to turn purple (veraison). For this reason, the resulting oil usually takes on greenish tones, distinctive of its early character, although this attribute is not always synonymous with a guarantee of quality.
In addition, this harvesting is practically manual and at dawn, when it is still cool. Since the olives are still green, it is more difficult to detach them from the branches (more labor is needed to harvest them), an operation that must be done with extreme care to avoid damaging the olive tree and the fruit falling to the ground.
The transfer of the early harvest olives to the mill should be carried out in the shortest possible time and in small quantities to prevent the olives from getting hot and deteriorating by piling up with each other.
Likewise, the extraction of an early harvest oil is more complex and costly than that of an oil obtained from ripe olives, since the pulp of the latter is softer and favors the extraction of the oil.
And finally, their yield is different. To produce a premium early harvest EVOO, such as our Armónico Hojiblanca, it can take up to 12 kilos of green olives (8-10% yield) compared to 4 kilos of olives (20-25% yield) to produce a later extra virgin olive oil.
The 2021/2022 vintage of Armónico includes two differentiated extra virgin olive oils: Armónico Hojiblanca - Early Harvest and Armónico Selección.
Both EVOOs are of superior quality and are always extracted cold from olives at different stages of ripeness, and before they reach full ripeness (black color): the first is harvested when the olive is still green and begins to show its purple color (in this first edition, the harvest took place in mid-November) and the second is harvested once the olive is purple because it is ripening (December).
The first is a green fruity oil, with aromas of freshly cut grass, olive leaves, tomato, green apple, artichoke and banana. It has a low bitterness and a medium spicy flavor that lingers. It is an oil reminiscent of the years of the old mills. It is ideal for raw consumption, without blending or cooking.
The second is a very balanced oil, with golden tones, delicious aroma with notes of olive leaf, combined with hints of tomato, artichoke and green banana. It has a characteristic sweet touch, low bitterness and medium-high spiciness . It is ideal for use raw, in salads and stews.
In short, the flavor of the oil depends, among other factors, on finding the right degree of maturity, so we conclude with total conviction that the quality of an oil is never born of chance.
The following is a summary of all these differences, applied to EVOOs from Armónico of the 2021/2022 harvest: