If you’re looking for this farm on the map, start way out in western Spain and keep going. It’s a bit west of the historic stone-walled town of Merida, about twenty-five miles east of the Portuguese border.
There are four kinds of olive trees whose fruit is blended to make this olive oil. Hojiblanca and Picual are standard varietals from southern Spain—the former brings a soft, warm, nutty butteriness, while the latter offers hints of artichoke, green asparagus, a bit of earthiness and a touch of black pepper in the finish. Arbequina, another common olive in Spain, adds a round, soft flavor.
Most interesting are the Morisca olives, unique to the area, offering a bit of pepper and interesting apricot fruit with a touch of green grass and green tomato.
The latest harvest of this extra virgin olive oil, from fall 2012, starts out sweet and very buttery but then finishes with a big red pepper kick. The aroma is buttery with notes of green olive and hay.
Zingerman's Food Tours is visiting Spain in October 2014. Join us for a behind the scenes journey to traditional food makers like this.