Early Harvest Olive Oil Health Benefits
Typically, the olive harvest begins at the end of November, and lasts until mid-January.
The olives collected during this period are already quite ripe, juicy and, when pressed, produce a fragrant and soft olive oil.
However, there is also something we call an early harvest olive oil.
What is the difference?
An early crop is harvested at the beginning of October.
These olives are hard, and just starting to darken at this time.
The oil yield from such olives is much lower thus the resulting olive oil is more expensive than olive oil made from olives harvested at the usual time.
You can tell the difference between this olive oil and an ordinary one not only by its taste, but also by its smell.
Early harvest olive oil aroma is always sharp and intense.
All early harvest olive oils have a common feature – they are so bitter and peppery that you will cough after swallowing some.
Still, the range of flavours may be different, as this depends on the variety, or blend of olives.
Don’t use this kind of olive oil with fresh vegetable salads, because it will dominate and completely kill the taste of the meal.
Early harvest olive oil is the best olive oil for finishing such dishes as a juicy steak, or grilled fish.
It’s also worth noting another important side of early harvest olive oil – its health benefits.
Olive oils produced from early harvested olives contain a record-high number of polyphenols and vitamin E.
For example, regular extra virgin olive oil contains about 150-200 mg of polyphenols per kg, while the number of polyphenols in early harvest olive oil is more than 500 mg per kg.
Moreover, early harvest olive oils always have a lower acidity: about 0.2 %, compared to the usual range of 0.4-0.6 % acidity in regular harvest olive oils.
In our store, almost all olive oils are made from early harvested olives. the only exception is extra virgin olive oil Aegean Gold.