📍Priego de Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain

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Did you know that Doña Elena Extra Virgin Olive Oil is 100% made in Priego de Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain?

Doña Elena is a world-class Filipino brand and the No. 1 Olive Oil brand in the Philippines. Their olive oil is made and shipped on the same day from the olive farms of award-winning Mueloliva in the southeastern region of the province of Cordoba.

Here’s a little Olive Oil 101 from Spain, the biggest producer and exporter of olive oil in the world.  

The Olive Tree

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The olive tree comes from a wild tree–the Acebuche–and is believed to be the first tree, which represents immortality and peace.

 

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There are 262 olive varieties in Spain:

Picual/Marteña/Nevadillo 
– Good resistance to drought and frost. High oil yield in the fruit
– High content of tocopherols and polyphenols (antioxidants)
– Color: intense green to light green
– Smell: intense green-ripe fruitiness with notes of fig, and apple 
– Taste: highlights the bitter and spicy

Hojiblanca
– Low yield in the fruit oil
– High content of polyphenols, and medium content of tocopherols
– Color: Bright green to yellowish green
– Smell: green fruit, such as the grass, apple, artichoke (apple)
– Taste: Light sweet and bitter, for its spicy notes on the sides of the tongue. almond aftertaste

Arbequina
– Medium yield of oil in the fruit
– Medium content of tocopherols and medium in polyphenols,
– Smell: ripe fruit, “fruit pulp” and nuts
– Taste: sweet almond, slightly spicy and no bitter

Picudo
– Average Yield of oil in the fruit
– Medium-High content of tocopherols and medium content of polyphenols
– Color: Yellow-green and gold light
– Smell: green and ripe fruits such as apples, almonds and bananas 
– Taste: very fruity and balanced, slightly spicy sweet and sour

  

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Olives come in three colors: Green (unripe), Purple (green-black), and Black (ripe).

  

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Olive has 15-30% oil, 40-55% vegetation water, and 23-35% vegetable texture and pit.

  

Mueloliva Producer 

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Mueloliva’s olive farm has 2,000 olive trees in three varieties: picuda, hojiblanca, and picual.

It produces the award-winning Venta Baron extra virgin olive oil in Spain and Doña Elena Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Fly Ace Philippines.

 

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There are five types of olive oils (based on quality):

• Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Impeccable taste and smell; Mandatory to have a fruity smell and taste depending on the fruity intensity (>65% Oleic Acid)
• Virgin Olive Oil: Acidity < 2o; small defects, mature fruity 
• Lampante Olive Oil: Strong defect based on smell and taste; Acidity > 2o do not have any smell of fruity (lowest grade, unfit for consumption)
• Refined Olive Oil: Chemical process that applies to lampante to remove taste, color, smell, and acidity
• Pomace Oil: From the product of the olive waste (typically used for cooking)

 

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Olives are manually or mechanically picked from the harvest months of November to April and processed on the same day.

The quality olives are placed on a conveyor belt with a blower to separate the olive branches, leaves, and stones. Then these are washed to clean the mud and dust off.

 

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The olives pass through a milling process to grind and turn them into a homogenous paste.

 

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The paste is centrifuged at high speed to separate the solids, and the liquid is cold extracted at 20oC.

 

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The freshly extracted olive oil is decanted to separate other liquids, inspected, and classified based on quality.

 

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 The oil is stored in stainless steel tanks with nitrogen to keep it from air contamination. 

 

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The Extra Virgin Olive Oil should have a fruity green color, mature olive fruit taste, and nearly cut grass smell. 

It can have notes of apple, almond, banana, tomato, fig, sweet, bitter, or spicy, depending on the variety and quality of olives during harvest.

 

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The extra virgin olive oil is picked, processed, and shipped the same day to ensure the highest level of quality.

 

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Doña Elena is a blend of picual and hojiblanca, and the sealed quality is good for 3 years from the manufacturing date.

 

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They keep the lowest inventory as possible in the warehouse. The products are shipped 30-45 days and arrive in Manila 2 months after harvest.

 

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Thank you to the Muelas family for producing a great Doña Elena Extra Virgin Olive Oil product for the Philippine Market!

 

Olive Oil Tasting

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Denominacion de Origen of Priego de Cordoba controls the quality standard for the olive oil produced in the region and provides an olive oil tasting experience.

Visit the http://dopriegodecordoba.es/ for more information.

 

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The quality of extra virgin olive oil can be graded on five aspects:

• Visual: Appearance
• Smell: Intensity of Aromatic sensations
• Taste: Intensity of the flavor
• Texture: Physical consistency of the oil
• Balance and Harmony

 

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To prepare for the tasting, make sure to:
• Not smoke 30 minutes before,
• Not use perfume or other products whose smell persists,
• Not eat at least 1 hour before, and
• Perform the tasting in a place free of noises and other smells

 

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Step 1: Discharge: Put 15ml of olive oil in a dark glass and cover over the walls of the cup at 28oC degrees

 

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Step 2: Smell: Open the glass, bring the cup to the nose looking for a first impression and intensity of the aroma

 

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Step 3: Tasting: Introduce the oil in your mouth, spreading and swelling it, looking for aromas

 

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Thank you to Doña Elena, Pedro Rubio, and Matteo Muelas of Mueloliva for showing us and educating us on the Extra Virgin Olive Oil industry!

 

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton

Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com  

Disclosure: Our trip to Priego de Cordoba was courtesy of Priego de Cordoba. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

P.S. Here are some recipes by Chef Mikel Zaguirre and Chef Kalel Chan that you can try with your Doña Elena Olive Oils this holiday season!

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Chef Mikel of Locavore fame and Chef Kalel Chan of the Raintree Group are actual users and latest chef endorsers of Doña Elena Olive Oils!

 

About the Doña Elena Chef Ambassador Series:

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Truly, the country has produced the finest chefs in the last decade, which could be the world’s greatest legends in no time. Doña Elena’s Chef Ambassador Series will feature techniques and personal recipes of the featured chefs that anyone can do at the comforts of their homes.

We are much honored to have Chef Kalel and Chef Mikel for Doña Elena. We are proud of their accomplishments that marked the Philippines in the culinary map of the world.  We are also confident that this initiative is a great way to connect with our consumers by introducing relatable dishes crafted by our very own local chefs, we hope that they’ll be inspired to create dishes with elevated flavors that the whole family will love.” 

– Zen Prudentino, Fly Ace Group Category Manager for Oils

We are proud that Doña Elena continues to be the country’s most trusted brand for olive oil not just by our loyal consumers but even by today’s most renowned local chefs. The overwhelming response from our consumers remain to inspire us to bring the best of the Mediterranean cuisine’s ingredients to the Filipino homes.” 

– Abbie Ng-Reyes, Fly Ace Asst. Vice President for Marketing

 

Cooking beyond borders with Chef Kalel

Chef Kalel Chan 

In the kitchen from the age of seven and raised by a family of home cooks, he ensures his menu consists of ingredients that are sustainable and can be easily sourced out. Aside from his reputation of being a purveyor of innovation and creative execution, this charmingly low-key chef doesn’t undermine the importance of infusing healthy ingredients in his creations.

In his latest recipe for Doña Elena Olive Oil that’s lovingly Fil-Hispanic–the Spanish Style Balsamic Bangus Belly is not only something anyone can replicate at home, it’s also meant to encourage healthy home cooking on a regular basis. An infusion of Doña Elena Pure Olive Oil with a heaping serving of balsamic vinegar, the result is nothing short of delectable, punctuated with a slight kick of tang and a touch of sweetness that lingers in every bite.

Low fire cooking is the key to allow the ingredients to further concentrate its flavors, tenderize the meat, reduce shrinkage, and retain its form. Simple, satisfying and perfect for days or nights you need to serve something on the table in 30 minutes,” Chef Kalel explains.

Part of being a good cook starts with your ingredients, which Chef Kalel thinks is always the beginning.

The first Doña Elena product that I used was the olive oil because of its trusted quality. I like the fact that the brand took time to immerse itself in the Philippine market and understand the importance of blending it for the Filipino palate. It’s very accessible and the price is reasonable too!” Chef Kalel adds.

 

Salmon Confit with Doña Elena Sundried Tomato Pesto
by Raintree Restaurants’ Corporate Chef Kalel Chan (serves 2) 

Salmon Confit
Light and bright flavors come alive in this slowly cooked salmon recipe. Easy to make and a guilt-free appetizer that’s guaranteed to excite the taste buds!

Ingredients:

2 pcs. Salmon Fillet
1 pc. of lemon
2 pcs. white onion, wide cut
8 pcs. garlic cloves
8 pcs. asparagus, cut the hard part and cut in half
2 cups Doña Elena Olive Oil
2 tbsps. Doña Elena Sundried Tomato Pesto
6 pcs. Doña Elena green olives
6 pcs. Doña Elena black olives
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
1. Marinade the salmon with salt and pepper and lemon.
2. Simmer the olive oil in low heat.
3. Add the onion wedges, garlic cloves, put the heat in low temperature.
4. Add the marinated salmon and poach for 8 to 10 min.
5. Add the asparagus and poach for 2-3 min.
6. Scoop the sun dried tomato and top off the salmon once cooked and plating is done.

 

Spanish-Style Balsamic Bangus Belly
By: Raintree Restaurants’ Corporate Chef Kalel Chan (serves 4)

bangus belly
This one-pan, three-step recipe boasts a medley of flavors and 30 minutes away from impressing family and friends. Additionally, it’s a simple but sophisticated dish that will feed a crowd!

Ingredients:

1 cup pure Doña Elena Olive Oil
100 gram bangus belly, cut into desired size
4 pcs. garlic cloves, crushed
1 pc, red onion, cut into quarter
1 pc. carrot
2 pcs. bay leaf
6 pcs. green olives
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Spanish paprika
3 tsp. salt
1 pinch chili flakes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

In a small pot, add olive oil and bring flame up to medium.
Once oil is warm, add onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 5 min. on low heat.
Add balsamic vinegar, green olives, bangus belly, bay leaf, chili flakes, and salt then simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the bangus is fully cooked.

 

Chef Mikel’s recipes for success: Creativity and Excellence.

Chef Mikel Zaguirre

For instructor, restaurateur, and the main man behind the city’s latest obsession Locavore, Chef Mikel is a firm believer in keeping all elements of the dish intact. By this, he means his creations are gloriously imaginative but doesn’t whittle away the texture, balance of flavors, and presentation—which is very evident in his Mojo Chicken recipe.

I’d like to change the notion that roasting is intimidating, all it takes are few quality ingredients, the right amount of marination and cooking time to produce a chicken dish that’s crammed with flavors,” Chef Mikel attests.

Not to be overlooked in the dish is its Mexican-inspired accompaniment, which evokes simple yet sophisticated flavors. “Chimichurri is a classic pair that’s bouncing with aromatic, garlicky taste with Doña Elena Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the main ingredient that binds. I recommend using mortar and pestle because there’s nothing like making your sauce by hand for a more flavorful result. It’s thick, chunky, and grainy that’s absolutely perfect for all things roasted and baked,” he adds.

Instead of using normal oil, Chef Mikel is partial with a healthier one, which is Doña Elena OIive Oil. “We use Doña Elena Olive oil in our restaurants. And I also encourage the ordinary consumers to use a healthy oil like Doña Elena Olive Oil for all of your cooking at home because it is your family that you are feeding. They deserve the best, all the time,” Mikel recommends.

 

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Mojo Chicken by Chef Mikel Zaguirre