The premium extra virgin olive oils from Malaga, that is those made from a selection of the best olives and with very limited production, continue to achieve international success. Three olive mills in the province have won a total of six medals, five gold and one silver, at the World Olive Oil Competition in New York (NYIOOC); the equivalent of the Oscars for the olive oil producers across the world, and organised by the Olive Oil Times.
The oil cooperative San José Artesano, in the hamlet of Mondrón, Periana, has been awarded a gold medal for its oil, 'Único'. Finca La Torre, based in Bobadilla near Antequera, won another three gold medals for it its premium oils 'Cornicabra', 'Picudo' and 'Hojiblanca.'
Hacienda de Colchado SL, in the small Antequera hamlet of Cartaojal, won gold for the 'Legado' oil and a silver medal for 'Experience'.
Olive oil expert, Francisco Lorenzo Tapia, explained that this contest rewards the best premium extra virgin olive oils in the world. This year alone, more than 1,000 samples from 28 countries were received, “which gives an idea of the increasing quality of the oils from Malaga,” said Lorenzo Tapia. “The jury assesses each oil with a score, and if it exceeds 85 points out of 100, the gold medal is awarded. If it is below 85, it is a silver”, he explained.
This is the first time the cooperative in Periana has achieved international recognition for its new oil 'Única' although it was mentioned in the latest edition of awards granted by the provincial council.
However, Finca la Torre can add this success to a long list of awards it has won over the past few years. Since 2012, the Bobadilla oil mill has won 'Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil' in five editions of Food Awards Spain, organised by the Agriculture ministry. The last time was in March in the 'Frutado Verde Amargo' category. Since 2012 it has only once not succeeded winning a prize and that was in 2016 when it only made it to the finals. Quite an achievement when keeping in mind that Spain, as the world's biggest olive oil producer, has many mills producing high-quality, extra virgin olive oils.
The 'Único' oil from Mondrón was valued by the jury for its extraordinary flavour and aroma. Only 8,500 litres will be sold this year in half litre bottles for 6.50 euros each (if you buy six) and in 2.5 litre cans for 18 euros. “It smells like cut grass, vegetables and olive leaves and a has a deep flavour reminiscent of almonds. It is complex and balanced,” explained the manager of Mondrón's cooperative Paco Alcántara who was “very proud” of the award. “Our hard work has been recognised and that brings us enormous satisfaction. The olives are collected at the end of October when they are at their peak, in order to intensify their aroma,” said Alcántara. To produce just one litre of 'Único', eight kilos of olives are needed when for other extra virgin oils, five kilos is sufficient.
Perfecto Mata, head of Hacienda de Colchado SL, was also very satisfied with the awards it received for the third year running in New York. Their prizewinning 'Legado' is sold at between twenty and twenty five euros for half a litre and between nine and twelve euros for 'Experience'. Besides these latest awards, the olive mill in Antequera has also been placed in the top ten by the prestigious international guide, Iber Oleum.