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Oil Dictionary

ALCUZA: An earthenware vessel (or made of tin or another material), usually of a cone-shaped, for keeping oil.

ALMAZARA: Oil mill.

ALPECHÍN: Dark liquid that seeps out of olives when they are in a pile, awaiting milling.

CAPACHO: A round basket made of esparto that is filled with the crushed olives, for pressing.

CATA (TASTING): Portion of oil that is tasted to assess its organoleptic characteristics.

DECANTACIÓN (DECANTING): Process whereby the oil is separated from the alpechin liquids, by means of their different densities.

ESCAZA: Large saucepan used in the oil mill for adding boiling water.

ENVERO: Olive colour when it starts to ripen and turn from green to purplish-black.

FRUTADO (FRUITY): Oil flavour reminiscent of healty, fresh olives, picked at optimum ripeness.

ORUJO (POMACE): Residual paste left over from the olive, that still contains water and oil after pressing.

TRUJAL: Olive press.

VAREAR (TO BEAT): Beating action using long poles to knock the olives down off the branches.

Virgin Olive Oil Attributes

Fruity: Reminiscent of the aroma and taste of healthy, fresh olives picked at optimum ripeness.

Mature fruity: Taste of oil obtained from ripe olives, usually flat and sweet.

Almond: Almond flavour may be classified in two ways: the flavour of raw almond, or the flavour of dried, healthy almonds that may be confused with an incipient rancid flavour. It is noted as an aftertaste when the oil remains in contact with the tongue or palate. It is associated with sweet oils that have a flat scent.

Grass: Flavour of some oils that is reminiscent of freshly cut grass.

Green leaves: This oil flavour is noted in olives that are too unripe or that were mixed with leaves and stalk when ground.

Apple: Olive oil flavour reminiscent of apples.

Bitter: This is not only characteristic of green, fresh olives, but it also inherent to certain varieties. For example, Picual and Cornicabra varieties are more bitter that Manzanilla, Lechín and Arbequina. Liking this bitterness depends on the consumer’s individual taste.

Sweet: In the case of oil, sweetness is considered as the absence of bitterness and/or spiciness. Not all consumers like sweet oil.

Faults in Virgin Olive Oil

Alpechín (vegetable water): Characteristic flavour acquired by oil from poor decanting or prolonged contact with the oil vegetable water.

Atrojado (musty): Characteristic flavour acquired by oil when olives have been piled up and have undergone to a great degree of fermentation.

Avinagrado (vinegary): Taste of some oils reminiscent of vinegar.

Borras (sediment): A flavour that is characteristic of oil that has been retrieved from the sediments when it has been decanted in vats.

Rancio (rancid): Characteristic flavour that is common to all oil that has undergone oxidation from prolonged contact with the air.

Apagado (flat): Flat oil has lost its organoleptic characteristics due to a loss of its aromatic components. This results from excess temperature during elaboration, or from ageing oil.