In a land like ours, bathed by seas of olive trees, and in which we display the “Optimi Olei Emporium” emblem on our coat of arms, we remain largely unaware of a product such as Olive Oil and its culture.

Despite the advertising campaigns that lately tell us about the benefits of Olive Oil, the latest regulations approved to promote safe consumption, and the proximity of the product, we still do not know about this vegetable fat, the basis of our Mediterranean diet.

It is true that we are increasingly aware of its beneficial properties for our health, but… Do we really know the different types of Olive Oil that exist…? Do we use Extra Virgin to cook our food…? Do we require in restaurants that it be fried with Olive Oil…? Are we aware of what is put in the oil cans in the catering establishments…?

I’m tired of going to restaurants, which boast of being exquisite (and charge you as such), where they fry with animal fats (God knows which ones), destroying the food that goes through the fryers and worst of all, playing with our Health.

Tired of having breakfast in places where they fill your oil cans with oils whose resemblance to Olive Oil is purely coincidental…

Tired of going through large surfaces, which we all know, where they play tricks on us with invented nomenclatures, such as “soft” or “intense”, the result of marketing and advertising, to mask bad oils and without properties, “jug” oils…

Tired of seeing how in the cradle of the Extra Virgin, where we make the best olive oils that exist on the planet, they sell us substitutes imported from North Africa and bottled in Portugal…

Tired of knowing that 80% of the Olive Oils labeled as Extra Virgin that are on the shelves of supermarkets are actually not…

Tired of seeing how the 3.5 € that a liter of the best Olive Oil costs Extra Virgin , it is expensive for us, an amount that we do not skimp on cubalibres, wines or any other product that does not even come close to having the innumerable beneficial properties that the EVOO has for our health and that of our loved ones…

Tired of hearing statements such as “sunflower oil is better for frying”, “refined oils are the really good ones” or “I don’t consume olive oil because I have cholesterol…”.

Although we still have much to learn from wine (our older brother), fortunately the so-called “Olive Oil Culture” is beginning to spread, rooted in our gastronomy since the Phoenicians and Romans, and recognized throughout the world, where they also begin to value our Extra Virgin .

All of us, and even more so those of us who live on this earth, should show off Extra Virgin Olive Oil, learning and developing its culture.

How do we do it? Well, it’s very simple, it consists of nothing else than “discover” its production process, to be able to differentiate the types of oil and decide well in front of the supermarket shelf; in “Know” all its beneficial properties for our health, to be aware of what we put at stake by using other fats; in “demand” wherever we go that it is seasoned, cooked and fried with Olive Oil Extra Virgin (in the same way that we demand a good wine or a good meat…), so that the hoteliers also make this commitment to quality their own; in “invest” in taste and health, which gives us a healthy and natural product whose price is very reasonable; in “to show off” to be supporters of this ancestral tradition and to show it off wherever we go, because in our roots, in our culture, in our health and in our Mediterranean diet, Olive Oil Extra Virgin has always occupied an essential place, which we have to continue projecting.

These letters serve to congratulate those who are already part of “the culture of the Extra Virgin”, because they have discovered the excellence of this product and investing in quality, flavor and health; and to recognize the work, affection and pride with which several Pontana family oil mills struggle day by day, in a centuries-old tradition that has been passed from father to son, to produce the best “olive juice”, for which we were recognized as “The Best Oil Market” (Optimi Olei Emporium).

Francisco Gómez de Tejada ( @gomezdetejada )

 

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