Where to buy good Catalan olive oil in Barcelona?
Olive oil is widely produced in Catalonia and it is generally very good quality, so why not take some home as a souvenir of your stay in Barcelona?
You will almost certainly have heard of the Mediterranean diet and its reputation for long life and good health, but what is behind it? Mainly eating huge quantities of fruit, vegetables and good quality olive oil, which helps reduce cholesterol and is particularly good for the pancreas and stomach.
Spain, the world’s biggest producer of olive oil
Olive oil has been consumed for centuries, and there are numerous references to it in the bible. Although it originated in the Mediterranean basin between Greece and Syria, today it is Spain that holds the world record for production. It is also the country with the most olives in the world!
Olive oil in Catalonia
Catalonia produces almost 25,000 tonnes of olive oil every year. The vast majority of this is extra virgin, meaning it is the best possible quality.
How to choose your olive oil?
Read the label
There are various types of olive oil::
- Extra virgin olive oil (aceite de oliva extra virgen): this oil is so natural that it is sometimes referred to as “olive juice”. It has an acidity level of less than 0.8%, which allows it to maintain all of its nutritional qualities and also helps it to taste better.
- Virgin olive oil (aceite de oliva virgen): a natural and high quality oil
- Refined olive oil (aceite de oliva refinado): an oil produced from less good quality olives or through a hot pressing process. It requires additional chemicals to make it edible. It is cheaper, less tasty and less nutritious than virgin olive oils.
- Olive oil (aceite de oliva): If none of the above are stated, then the oil is a mixture of refined and virgin oil.
- Tip: to help your olive oil retain its nutritional properties for as long as possible, choose one in a dark glass bottle.
Designations of origin
Just like with wine, the quality of olive oil is ensured using designations of origin. In Catalonia you can find the following:
- Les Garrigues, the oldest
- Oli del Baix Ebre-Montsià
- Oli de l’Empordà
Catalan olive oil is generally very good quality and a source of real gastronomic interest. Some people even organise olive oil tastings!
If you have the means to use it in large quantities, for example in frying food, you will notice a big difference in the quality compared to other oils, not to mention the health benefits!
However, the high price of Catalan olive oil means it is often used more judiciously, for example in salad dressing, or drizzled over tomato bread or even on its own with a little bread. It is also a great gift to bring back from your trip to Barcelona.
Where to buy good Catalan olive oil?
Catalan people are very proud of their local olive oil, and in Barcelona certain stores specialise in it. Expect to pay between 5 and 25 euros for a bottle of virgin or extra virgin oil.
The name of this olive oil shop means “liquid gold”, so it’s easy to gather that its products are of the highest quality! However the prices are high.
They also offer all sorts of olive-oil based products from pâté to vinegar and even including cosmetics.
- When? Monday to Saturday from 10:30am to 8:30pm, Sunday from 11:30am to 3:30pm.
- Where? Carrer de la Palla 8, Gothic quarter – just beside the Caelum tea room!
La Chinata is special as it doesn’t just sell olive oil, but has been producing it since 1932. Their oil is known for its quite dense fruity aroma and sweet taste.
As well as oil, La Chinata makes olive oil-based cosmetics and food products such as vinegar, honey, salt, purée, and cheese conserved in oil…
- When? Monday to Saturday from 10am, to 9pm. Sunday from noon to 7pm
- Where? Carrer dels Angels 20, Raval
In the neighbourhood of Gràcia, Oli Sal’s owner offers a carefully selected range of regional olive oils. Don’t hesitate to ask her advice as she personally tests all the products sold in her shop.
- When? Monday from 4:30pm to 8:30pm, Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30am to 2:30pm and from 4:30pm to 8:30pm.
- Were? Travessera de Gràcia 170, Gràcia
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