Olive trees and olive oil
Olive trees grow at altitudes between 400 and 700 metres and enjoy the microclimate of Haute Provence
The main variety of olive tree in Haute Provence is the Aglandau. These olives give the oil a taste of green vegetables, dominated by the flavour of artichokes. This is the trademark of the olive oils from the Haute Provence AOP area, an area which covers 83 districts in the Alpes de Haute Provence department.
“On Saint Catherine’s day the oil is in the fruit.” The olives are harvested from the second fortnight of November, when their colour is turning, until the middle of January, when they are fully ripened.
Olive oil is pure fruit juice; concentrated quality.
Olives harvested when fully ripened will produce high quality virgin oil. The process of obtaining the oil has not changed since the earliest times: the olives are crushed and mixed in a grinder and the paste obtained is then pressed. The golden liquid which flows out of the press is filtered and then stored at a constant temperature away from sunlight.
Only cold-pressed olive oil may benefit from the name “virgin olive oil” and be called a “natural product.” 5kg of olives on average are required to produce 1 litre of oil.
Olive oil is rich in vitamins. It is the easiest fat to digest. It contains linoleic acid which stimulates growth in children. It is used in the prevention and treatment of cholesterol as well as in the fight against cardio-vascular disease. It is also recommended for its beneficial lipids, more so than with other vegetable oils.
It is the natural choice for light, tasty cooking. With a very high smoking temperature (about 210°), olive oil is perfect for frying. Its qualities are not altered by heat and it retains all its digestive properties.