In the area of les Garrigues, due to both a lack of irrigation and the conditions of its terrain, there has been the need of specializing in growing crops typical in dry regions: cereals, vines, almond trees and, above all, olive trees, the most traditional and characteristic one.
The growing process of olive trees, their harvest and the almost handmade process of producing olive oil are a tourist attraction by themselves. Visiting any mill and its country cooperatives in the producer villages involves a remarkable experience. Moreover, it goes without saying, you can buy some litres of this valuable liquid, and stroll around these villages, witnesses of former splendour, which still preserve an old-fashioned, serene and peaceful way of life as well as great dignity and lordly features.
Nowadays olive oil is thought to be one of the main products that gives the most satisfaction in cuisine when used not only in the currently in vogue vinaigrettes but also in cooked dishes. Olive oil is currently appreciated as it deserves. It is worth pointing out that this oil is the one that strengthens the gastronomic and aromatic virtues of dishes in the best way.
Extra virgin olive oil, made from Arbequina olives, has extraordinary culinary, dietetic and medicinal properties. On the other hand, its organleptic characteristics make it internationally renowned, since its fruit and mild taste makes it suitable for raw dishes, that is, salads, toasted bread, pa amb tomata (bread topped with crushed tomatoes), etc.
Harvested and produced by hand, it is the ideal olive oil because:
- it prevents heart diseases;
- it is cholesterol free;
- it contains vitamins A, D, E, F, and K;
- it makes digestion easier
Apart from this, it is naturally obtained, without any chemical procedure, colouring or preservative.
Thus, it can be stated that the olive oil produced in the cooperatives and private mills in our region is the good and natural extra virgin olive oil, the one that is obtained by means of crushing olives without any other manipulation.
The Catalan virgin olive oils used for this origin label, like the oil kinds les Garrigues and DO les Garrigues, are demanding olive oils and have to contain a maximum acidity of 0.5 degrees. It must be remarked that such low natural acidities are only obtained with a large amount of Arbequina olive trees, which makes olive oil milder and with less acidity, together with an accurate harvest and production process.