EVOO - Olive Varieties for Its Production

Posted by Ruth Mercurio, Professional Olive Oil & Wine Taster on 13th Mar 2023


EVOO - Olive Varieties for Its Production

Olives are one of the first fruit trees cultivated in antiquity. Its origins go back to approximately more than 7,000 years ago in Greece and Asia Minor. EVOO is an essential product in Mediterranean cuisine. In fact, it is a primary product for the contributory flavor and quality of practically every meal.

The quality of authentic extra virgin olive oil depends on the quality of the olive and the speed of the elaboration process. The variety of olives from which it has been extracted is responsible for the aroma and taste of the resulting oil. Knowing the type of olive with which extra virgin olive oil is manufactured is paramount. While the arbequina olive produces softer and light oils, the type of Picual olive will be more bitter and spicy.

Obtaining EVOO is a complex process. In this article, we will mention only some varieties, taking into account that the same variety in different areas can give very different results. The use of EVOO oil contributes to improving health by helping to prevent diabetes or heart failure. Visit our olive oil stores near me section and give yourself the opportunity to learn and experience our great variety of artisan and organic products of the highest quality standards.

Types of Olives - What are the most common?

Different types of olives can be classified as soft, bitter, or spicy. For example, Arbequina oil produces soft and light oils, which are very different, for example, more bitter and spicy. It will always be convenient to have knowledge of the different types of olives, to maximize their culinary power and health benefits.

Genuine extra virgin olive oil should be considered at least at the same level as good wine. We must know the different varieties that combine better with kitchen dishes. One of the best ways to enjoy the qualities of an EVOO is to use it in the rough, in a toast of bread, for example.

It is also highly recommended for pickles and preserves and, of course, to cook. It is already degraded less than other types of oils. It is very normal to find various procedures on the labels of extra virgin olive oils. Check out our avocado oil vs olive oil article and learn more about the benefits and differences.

Below are the main types of olives and some characteristics of the EVOO obtained from them:

  • Picual: It is the most abundant variety in the world, representing 20% of world production. It is one of the varieties with the highest production due to its high-fat content, excellent oxidation resistance, and high kitchen temperatures. The fruit has a pointy shape, hence its name. It gives EVOO oil with a great personality, a fruity smell, and a taste of green olive, in which the olive leaf and a slight itching and bitterness are detected.

  • Arbequina: It is the second most used variety for oil extraction, approximately 10% of the world's extra virgin olive oil. This variety gives a green oil with yellowish reflexes and a very fluid, fresh, and sweet aroma with apple touches and almonds, in which there is almost no trace of itching and the bitterness of the Andalusian varieties. It has little tolerance to oxidation, so it is preferable to eat it raw than with salads, bread, and other foods.

  • Cornicabra: Its name refers to its curved shape, reminiscent of a goat's horn, and a highly aromatic greenish-yellow oil is extracted from it, with a fresh, afro-futal flavor, with a bitter and spicy touch.

  • Hojiblanca: Its name refers to the whitish color of its leaves, and it is a highly prized variety because it is resistant to periods of drought. It has a reasonably generous pulp. It can be found as a green olive but also as a black olive. Its oil is characterized by having a flavor and aroma of grass, artichoke, and freshly cut aromas. Its taste is sweet and very mild, with a slightly bitter and spicy final touch.

  • There are other types of olives, such as Koroneiki, but on this occasion, we limit ourselves to mentioning only some of its varieties. Now let's look at the different types of olive oil.

    Picual olive oil Arbequina olive oil Koroneiki olive oil

    Different types of EVOO

    There are two different types of olive oil, taking into account the types of olives and their elaboration process.

  • Neutral in its flavor, extracted from the combination of different olives
  • The monovarietal, the facts with a single olive

  • There are also four types of olive oil:
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Olive oil
  • Olive orujo oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil

    This classification corresponds to the four commercial categories of olive oil recognized in the legislation of the European Union. Without a doubt, EVOO is a virgin olive oil of the highest quality: it is healthier, and its flavor is better. It is also the most expensive, although the price difference is small.

    Picual olive oil vs. Arbequina olive oil

    The Picual olive grove adapts more quickly to the traditional olive grove. Its production is very high and constant. The rooting of the plants is good, and it is easy for the fruit to detach.

    The Arbequina olive grove has other qualities that make it a very productive variety. Allows hedge planting to achieve high yields and low harvest costs.

    Arbequina oil has a slightly bitter touch offset by a touch of sweetness. On the other hand, it has a small degree of spiciness. Its smell is intensely fruity, with apple, mint, and green grass notes.

    The Picual is characterized by intense bitterness with a touch spicier than the Arbequina and a lower level of fruity aromas. When this oil is harvested early, all its qualities are intensified, with a solid green color and aromas of tomato, banana peel, olive leaf, and grass.

    Now that you know some varieties of olives to make EVOO, we invite you to live the We Olive experience. Shop now, join our fantastic olive oil club, or reach out to our customer service team at or call 805 238 2900.

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