IMG_2323Ever wonder why certain Extra Virgin Olive Oils seem more expensive than others? Pago de Valdecuevas is a high quality extra virgin olive oil company that produces some incredible styles in both large and small production. I was able to visit the Pago de Valdecuevas olive grove for a delicious tasting and tour of the facility. 

As a chef I always knew about the different olive oils for cooking, which ones to dress with and which ones to cook with, but I had no idea just what went into olive oil until I actually visited the grove. 

IMG_2334I got up close and personal in the olive grove so I could better understand this beautiful process. Spanish olive oil is smooth and aromatic, and Pago de Valdecuevas stands out among other olive oils because it is strikingly intense with vegetable overtones and some apple notes. On the palate (yes very similar to wine) it is smooth with a bitter finish that evens out with a burning aftertaste; don’t let these tasting notes deter you…this is desirable when tasting olive oils! This oil is bottled by demand making it exclusive and great for salads and raw consumption.

IMG_2328The company also produces El Moclín, which is an extra virgin olive oil also but is bottled in bigger containers to adapt to consumer tastes. The name is derived from a battle fought right on the olive grove grounds which is pretty unique!

So whats the Extra Virgin Olive Oil process? From picking to processing it is literally a 25 minute process. The oil mill is in the estate and equipped with state of the art equipment. olives are picked at the peak of ripeness then sent through the cold process to be pressed, battered and then decanted.

IMG_2361There are many different olive oils out there, but if you want to try something quality driven and different than what you have, Pago de Valdecuevas is one I would highly recommend. Having been to the mill and grove, I certainly can appreciate my olive oil more and will savor it on my salads and such. Also a great pairing would be La Abuela Nieves Potato Chips made with sunflower oil. I found these to be quite tasty when I did tapas at home here in NYC. These chips are absolutely delicious and if you are having some tapas with cheeses, salads, olive oil and meats, I would add these into the tapas mix too!

Do you enjoy olive oil? Try some oils from Spain with different foods and some Spanish wine for a fun and unique tasting evening!