Produced near Arbeca the most arid territory in Catalunya, Spain. Romanico is the general brand for the oils produced in Agroles, co-operative in the Les Garrigues region of Catalonia.
Based in Borges Blanques, it serves 42 primary co-operatives with around 6000 families in total. The land here varies from the rolling hills of the lower valleys with vineyards and tidy olive groves to the steep-sided ridges higher up. Up there the olive trees grow in terraces and the countryside is much wilder in character. Some of the olive trees are as much as 150 years old. Others are very new, often planted between the rows of older trees after the installation of drip irrigation allowed for more intense cultivation.
Arbequina is virtually the only variety planted here and it has a long history in the area. On of the Agroles' primary co-operatives is at Arbeca to the north east of Borges Blanques and the name of the town is thought to be associated both with the Moorish settlement and with the local olive variety. Indeed there is some speculation that this variety came originally from North Africa. Arbeca is the region that gives the namesake to this variety of olives. The olives that survive the cold weather in winter and the drought in sumer are the key ingredients to this outstanding olive juice. “Nuts, then wet grass and herbs followed by a touch of lemon start the aromas of this excellent oil. This is followed by light citrus fruits and more herbs with sorrel and watercress. Quite strong pepper kicks in and out leaving a long herby and lemon aftertaste.”
By Judy Ridgway’s, author of Best Olive Oil Buys Round the World where ROMANICO is rated 4.5/5 among the best 100 oils. GOLD STAR at the Lodon Great Taste Awards 2009. Acidity: 0.16 %, Color: Yellow greenish, Bitterness: Medium, Sweetness: Medium, Spicy: Slight, Fruitiness: Medium.
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