Ever wondered what the difference between early and late harvest olive oil is? It all comes down to when the olives are picked and how they're treated. We'll help you understand more about harvesting, the differences between types of olives, and how harvesting influences taste and quality.
Timing is Everything
There are various olives available and they all have their distinctive differences. They have different smells and tastes and their color changes depending on how far they are in the maturing process.
While most olive oils will start out green, they change color as they age. With premium oils, you can expect a fresh grass aroma with some spicy notes of pepper. Late-harvest oils tend to be sweeter and very mild.
There are three grades of olive oils. The first grade is called extra virgin. This is the highest grade. It is made from freshly harvested olives, by methods that do not affect the color, aroma or the taste of the oil.
The decision of when to crush olives is very important because it will affect flavor, acidity level, cost, and quality. But if you go too early or too late, the oil will be unbalanced in terms of flavor and cost.
Early Harvest Olive Oil
Early harvest olive oils are made with unripe olives. Their chlorophyll content is high, so they're often quite green. They have higher antioxidants and extra-low acidity, which makes them healthier. Green, healthy, and extra-virgin is the best way to go when it comes to olive oil.
Early harvest olive oils are an excellent choice for you and your family. Made with unripe olives, it's definitely worth the money to buy the early harvest olive oils because they are richer in antioxidants and have extra-low acidity.
Late Harvest Olive Oil
Some people prefer this time of year when the olive matures and turns purple to black. It may take a little longer, but it's worth the wait as the olives are at their most flavorful. The late harvest results in a golden color as chlorophyll content goes down.
The late harvest happens when the olive matures, and the skin turns purple to black. You'll find the oil tastes more floral and less bitter, while the polyphenol levels are lower in these oils. This type of oil generally has a shorter shelf life than early harvest olive oils.
How We Pick Our Olives
Picking olives is an essential skill. The timing is crucial to getting it right. If the fruit is under-ripe there will be too much bitterness and the oil will have a less fruity chlorophyll taste. If the fruit is allowed to over-ripe, then it will be unfit for consumption unless you remove all the goodness through refining.
Olives are at their best when they are harvested at their peak of flavor. We follow this rule and only pick olives that are ready to deliver you the high-quality oil you deserve.