Green olive oil
Green oil is associated with an early harvest or premium olive oil, the juice extracted from the youngest olives, totally green. And it is true that this supreme quality extra virgin olive oil usually has a darker green color, but it is also possible to extract very green oils from purple and somewhat riper olives. Therefore, the color can be misleading and is not always in line with the organoleptic quality (smell and taste). Be that as it may, the question arises: is a green oil of higher quality than a more golden oil? Well, as almost always the correct answer is it depends.
Spanish olive oil
The most common types of olive oil are:
Extra virgin olive oil
100% olive juice. These oils are obtained from olives at their optimum ripening moment, and only by mechanical procedures. Extra virgin olive oils are oils of the highest quality, free of defects, which is why they have excellent flavor and aroma characteristics, constituting a delight for the senses. Extra virgin olive oils, besides being a source of monounsaturated fatty acids, provide natural antioxidants, such as olive oil polyphenols or vitamin E, which have proven their ability to reduce cholesterol, one of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
The oils in this category can be monovarietal (obtained from a single olive variety, so that the specific attributes of each variety can be appreciated more clearly), or coupage (containing different olive varieties in different proportions).
Virgin olive oil
They also come from 100% olive juice, and have remarkable flavor and aroma characteristics. However, they do not reach the level of excellence of extra virgin oils. They share with the latter their antioxidant capacity and their richness in monounsaturated fatty acids.
These are oils that contain exclusively a mixture of refined and virgin or extra virgin olive oils in a variable proportion. Refined olive oils are obtained from virgin oils that have not reached the high quality standards required of virgin and extra virgin oils. They share with these oils their high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, essential in a healthy diet.
Organic olive oil
A green oil correctly extracted from young olives without treatments or fertilizers, apart from being somewhat more bitter and spicy, has wonderful smells, flavors and nuances, which usually remind us of other fruits, vegetables and plants such as fresh grass, fennel, green banana, artichoke, tomato, fig, almond, etc. This is what is known in professional jargon as fruitiness, a fundamental attribute of the best olive oils, and which has a decisive influence on their evaluation in recognized competitions.
So, indisputably, and as the Romans already knew very well, taking into account this set of attributes and nuances that in the end are related to supreme or premium quality, the best possible olive oil is obtained when the olives are still green. What they called oleum ex albis ulivis, the prized Roman juice from completely green olives, more bitter, pungent and fruity, reserved exclusively for sacred ceremonies, medicine and royal palates. And of course, among these, the best and highest quality of all was oleum primae pressurae, the first cold-pressed oil, which was obtained in the way in which the highest possible amount of polyphenols was obtained, the natural antioxidants of olive oil responsible for its bitter and spicy touch, and which make it almost a medicine.