OLIVE OIL LEXICON BY OLIVIERS & CO

 

All the terms specific to olive oil, to better understand our world, the labels...

 

  • Organic farming: a method of agricultural production that does not use any chemicals.
  • AOC : Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée is an official French label identifying a product whose production stages are carried out in the same geographical area and according to a recognised know-how. The AOC represents a notion of terroir and typicality.
  • PDO: Protected Designation of Origin is the name in French of a European Community identification sign. (= AOC but for European products).
  • Olive oil: juice extracted from the olive.
  • Virgin olive oil: must be extracted from olives only by mechanical means and without excessive heat (>27°C). Its oleic acidity level is between 0.8% and 2%.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: must be extracted from olives only by mechanical means and without excessive heat (>27°C). It has an oleic acidity of less than 0.8% and is free of defects. It is the best quality of olive oil.
  • Orchard: area of land devoted to the cultivation of fruit trees, called fruit growing. Discover the stages of the harvest.
  • Grands crus : extra virgin olive oil selected according to precise production specifications and drastic selection criteria. (About ten technical control points and 22 identity control points for our oils). Our extra virgin olive oils are high quality products that offer an infinite range of aromas and flavours. We offer total transparency on their traceability.
  • Condiment: a product based on vinegar and grape must, more or less concentrated, intended for seasoning. Their acidity level is lower than that of a wine vinegar. Discover the whole collection.
  • Vintage: year of harvest.
  • Terroir: natural region with a collective knowledge of production, soil typicity and/or climatic homogeneity.
  • Polyphenols: natural compounds present in plants in varying densities, particularly in fruit and vegetables. Polyphenols have antioxidant properties, which are good for health. (Polyphenols = Tannin for wine).
  • Olivade: olive harvesting.
  • Fruity :

Fruité Végétal (equivalent to fruité vert in competition): olives are harvested green or turning (shade of purple) at the beginning of the season, i.e. at aromatic and not physiological maturity. These olives give the most fragrant oils. It is called "fruité végétal" because the taste is very vegetal, with herbaceous and fiery aromas. (tingling in the back of the throat). It is in these oils that the most aromatic compounds are measured.
Fruité Floral (ripe fruit equivalent in the competition): the olives are harvested at physiological maturity. A rounder and softer taste, a silky and velvety texture.
Fruité noir : The olives are macerated in open-topped paloxes (large crates) to obtain a fermentation that will give aromas of cocoa and mushrooms. Acidity level higher than 2%, a category not selected by O&CO because they are not extra virgin.

  • Maturity: stage of development of the fruit on the tree. (White skin -> then green -> purple -> black).
  • Acidity: calculated in % of oleic acid, acidity is used to measure the quality level of an oil and to determine its category. It is never perceived by an acid taste and is measured in the laboratory.
  • Organoleptic: perception of a sense: nose = smell, mouth = taste...
  • Olive varieties : There are nearly 2000 varieties of olive trees listed in the world, with nearly 400 varieties in France, of which a hundred are cultivated by professional olive growers for the production of table olives or oil.
  • Flavour: quality perceived by the organ of taste. (Sweet, salty, bitter, acid, pungent...). Extra virgin olives offer a wide variety of intensity in the exclusively bitter category.
  • Bitterness: this is the only taste that olive oil can have, and its intensity is determined by tasting. In the mouth, the bitterness is mainly perceived on the back of the tongue.
  • Flavour: This term is specific to olive oil. It is a tactile sensation of spiciness, like that of chilli or other spices.
  • Aroma: is the perception of fragrances in the mouth through the nose. In the aroma of different oils, we can find hints that remind us of different fruits such as almonds, apples, citrus fruits, plants such as figs and tomatoes, as well as green hints that remind us of leaves and freshly cut grass.
  • Astringency: is a property of some extra virgin olive oils, the hallmark of Polyphenols. It is a positive attribute in sensory analysis, a tactile sensation, a sign of freshness and of a young olive oil.
  • Rancid: reminiscent of the smell of linseed oil. This defect comes from an oil that is too old or from a problem of conservation.
Last edit on 4/8/2021