Throughout the time that we've know each other, I've written lots about virgin olive oil: its properties, how to eat it, and other interesting facts. Nevertheless, I've told you little about the plant they come from: the olive tree. The truth is that nowadays we don't know much about the raw material of most of the products that we consume. That's why I thought it was important to pass on this knowledge and tell you how olives grow.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE AN OLIVE TREE TO BEAR FRUIT?
The first think that you to need to know is that it is a mistake to talk about the olive tree in general. Another time I told you about the different types of olive tree that there are: how each one has adapted to a specific ecosystem and how this changes its growth and the fruit that it produces. Therefore, each variety of olive tree takes a different amount of time to bear its fruit.
In order to talk about, how olives grow it is therefore essential to talk about the different varieties. The only problem is that there are so many varieties that I could spend days telling you about the different growth times. That's why I've decided just to tell you about the olives that are used in the best extra virgin olive oil: our very own, Carapelli oils.
HOW THE FINEST OLIVES GROW
The Arbequina olive has an early flowering time compared with other varieties of olive tree. It takes around three years to produce its first fruit. Once the first olives appear, the olive tree's productivity increases considerably. It produces fruit constantly, meaning that it is a very fertile variety. This variety offers a delicate and fruity oil.
The Coratina olive variety is an Italian variety that flowers after approximately five years, although it can take longer. How do Coratina olives grow? They grow to a large size, in fact the olive is characterized by this, as well as its oval and asymmetrical shape. It is harvested when it has turned maroon. The oil from this variety has a strong, bitter, sometimes spicy taste.
The Hojiblanca olive flowers medium-late. It is used as a black table olive and for olive oil. This variety produces an extra virgin olive oil that delights the palate: it is smooth and sweet at the start, but we soon get a bitter and spicy taste. It produces very pleasant sensations that change in the mouth.
The Picual olive is notable for being one of the most harvested in Spain. This variety flowers early and its fruit starts to emerge three years after being planted. It is aromatically different from the rest, and its flavor leaves a bitter and spicy taste in the mouth.
Now you know how olives grow that are used in the most select olive oils. I recommend that you try them, find out which best suits your palate and pair them with different foods to find the combination that you like the best.