We asked the GPT Chat about their knowledge of extra virgin olive oil, olive growing, etc.
We wanted to know how much wisdom the GPT Chat has about oil, the olive tree, our land, the harvest, etc. Is it true everything that our friend, artificial intelligence, knows? We put it to the test with 10 questions that are the order of the day...
1. Why is extra virgin olive oil from the Sierras Subbéticas so valuable? ✅
Extra virgin olive oil from the Sierras Subbéticas is highly valued for its quality and flavour, and this is largely due to the natural conditions in which it is grown. The Sierras Subbeticas are located in the Andalusia region of southern Spain and are characterised by a rugged topography with steep slopes and a unique climate.
The steep slopes of the Sierras Subbeticas are beneficial for the production of extra virgin olive oil as they allow greater control of irrigation and better water drainage. This favours the development of the roots of the olive trees, which in turn contributes to a greater absorption of nutrients and the production of higher quality olives.
In addition, the climate of the Sierras Subbéticas is conducive to the production of high quality extra virgin olive oil. The Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers, together with low relative humidity, provides ideal conditions for the cultivation of olive trees and the production of high quality olive oil. The influence of the nearby Sierra Nevada mountain range also helps to protect the olive trees from the cold, dry winds.
Extra virgin olive oil from the Sierras Subbeticas is obtained from olives harvested and processed under optimum conditions, which contributes to the quality of the final product. The olive variety used in the production of this oil, hojiblanca, is known for its fruity and balanced flavour, which contributes to the high quality and characteristic taste of Sierras Subbéticas extra virgin olive oil.
2. Since when has extra virgin olive oil been produced in Subbética Cordobesa? ?
Olive oil has been produced in the Subbética Cordobesa region for many centuries, even before Roman times. Olive growing is a traditional activity in the region that has been handed down from generation to generation over the centuries.
Extra virgin olive oil is a product obtained from top-quality olives and produced using cold mechanical processes to preserve all its organoleptic properties. The term 'extra virgin' refers to the highest quality that an olive oil can attain, and is used to describe those oils which have an exceptional flavour and aroma, as well as very low acidity.
In the Subbética Cordobesa, the production of extra virgin olive oil has been consolidated over the last few decades thanks to the growing interest in quality oils and the investments made by local producers in technology and production processes. Nowadays, the extra virgin olive oil from the Sierras Subbéticas, which includes Subbética Cordobesa, has national and international recognition and prestige thanks to its unique quality and flavour.
We wanted to delve into the origin of olive growing in our land, the Sierras Subbéticas Natural Park, but it simply talks about "many centuries", but not which civilisation initiated olive growing. According to Muy Interesante, it was in Tarragona 1700 years ago, the first record of olive tree plantation in the Iberian Peninsula.
3. Which varieties of olive tree are most characteristic of the southern part of Córdoba? Why? ✅
In the southern part of Córdoba, which includes the Subbética region, the most characteristic olive varieties are Hojiblanca, Picuda and Picual. These varieties are particularly suited to cultivation in the region because of the climatic and geographical conditions.
4. How does the Hojiblanca variety stand out? ✅
The hojiblanca variety is one of the most widely grown olive varieties in Spain and is found mainly in the region of Andalusia. This variety stands out for several reasons:
Flavour: Olive oils made from the hojiblanca variety have a fruity and slightly bitter and spicy taste, with notes of fresh grass and green apple. This makes it a very balanced and versatile extra virgin olive oil for cooking and seasoning.
Culinary versatility: The hojiblanca variety is very versatile in the kitchen, as its flavour and aroma complement well a wide variety of dishes. It is commonly used in salads, marinades, marinades, sauces and in fish and seafood dishes.
Disease resistance: Hojiblanca is an olive variety resistant to diseases and pests common in olive growing, which makes its cultivation more sustainable and profitable.
5. How does early olive harvesting lead to better quality of polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil? ✅
Early olive harvesting refers to the harvesting of olives before they reach full maturity. This practice is used to produce high quality extra virgin olive oil with a distinctive flavour and aroma profile and a higher concentration of polyphenols.
Polyphenols are natural antioxidant compounds found in olive oil and have been associated with a variety of health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
When olives are harvested early, they contain a higher concentration of polyphenols compared to ripe olives. In addition, the polyphenols present in early olives are more diverse and complex than those present in ripe olives.
Early harvesting also reduces the time olives are exposed to air and sunlight, which minimises the oxidation of polyphenols and helps preserve their quality and quantity. Early extraction also reduces the amount of water present in the olives, which helps to improve the quality of the extra virgin olive oil by minimising oxidation and rancidity.
We would add that early harvesting of the olives means a sacrifice for the producer, since a greater quantity of oil is obtained when the olives are riper. So when quality takes precedence over quantity, the olives are harvested during the first months of the harvest.
6. What aspects make an extra virgin olive oil exceptional? ✅
An exceptional extra virgin olive oil is one that meets certain quality and taste requirements. Here are some aspects that can make an extra virgin olive oil exceptional:
Acidity: extra virgin olive oil must have a maximum acidity of 0.8%. Olive oils with an acidity lower than this value are considered to be of higher quality.
Early harvest: As I mentioned in the previous question, early harvesting of olives can result in an extra virgin olive oil of higher quality and flavour. Early harvested olives contain more polyphenols and have a more complex flavour and aroma.
Cold extraction: Extra virgin olive oil must be cold extracted to preserve its natural properties and characteristics. Cold extraction involves grinding the olives at a low temperature (less than 27°C) and extracting the oil without the use of chemicals or solvents.
Olive varieties: Extra virgin olive oil can be exceptional if it is made from a single olive variety or from a blend of different varieties.
Some olive varieties, such as arbequina or hojiblanca, are considered particularly suitable for the production of extra virgin olive oil.
Taste and aroma: Exceptional extra virgin olive oil should have a balanced taste and aroma, with notes of grass, fruit and a hint of bitterness and spiciness. The taste should be fresh and lingering on the palate.
Storage: Extra virgin olive oil should be stored properly to maintain its quality.
The oil should be stored in a cool, dark place, protected from light and heat, and is recommended to be consumed within 12 months after harvesting.
7. Does extra virgin olive oil have an expiry date? ❌
Yes, extra virgin olive oil has an expiry date. Although extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat that is resistant to oxidation, it can lose its organoleptic and nutritional properties over time.
The expiry date of extra virgin olive oil depends on several factors, such as the quality of the oil, the production method, the storage conditions and the date of harvesting. Most extra virgin olive oil producers recommend consuming the oil within 18 to 24 months after the date of harvest or production.
Some high quality extra virgin olive oils can last longer, up to 36 months, if stored properly. However, over time, the oil can lose its flavour, aroma and nutritional properties. To ensure that extra virgin olive oil has a longer shelf life, it is important to store it properly.
Extra virgin olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place, protected from light and heat, and it is recommended to keep it in an airtight container to prevent oxidation and exposure to air.
Extra virgin olive oil does not have an expiry date as such, only a best-before date. Over time, the product does indeed lose its properties, but it is never "out of date".
8. What can happen to the olive blossom if extreme heat is reached in full bloom? ✅
The olive blossom is very sensitive to extreme temperatures, both high and low, during its flowering period.
If extreme heat temperatures are reached during flowering, this can affect pollination and fertilisation of the flowers, which can have negative consequences on olive production.
When temperatures are too high, the olive flower dehydrates and the anthers (male reproductive organs) may dehydrate and die before the pollen matures and is ready to be released. In addition, pollen that is released may lose its ability to germinate due to dehydration and prolonged exposure to heat.
All this can lead to a lower rate of pollination and fertilisation of the flowers, resulting in a lower production of olives and, therefore, of olive oil.
It is important to note that high temperatures during flowering do not always have the same impact on olive production, as the response of the trees may vary depending on the variety, soil type and air humidity conditions. However, in general, high temperatures during olive flowering can have a negative impact on olive oil production.
9. How does the flowering of the olive tree occur? What is olive milkweed? ?
Olive blossom is an important process in the life cycle of the olive tree, as it is during this stage that the fruit is produced.
Flowering usually occurs in spring and can last for several weeks. Milkweed, also known as whitefly, is a common pest of olive crops and can affect both crop quality and quantity.
The milkweed feeds on leaf sap and can weaken the tree if the infestation is severe. To prevent milkweed infestation in olive trees, it is important to maintain good hygiene in the crop, eliminating weeds and pruning debris that may serve as a refuge for the pest.
Treatments with specific chemical products can also be used to control the whitefly population. It is important to follow the instructions for use of the product and to respect the safety deadlines before harvesting. Regarding the flowering of the olive tree, it is important to ensure that the tree is in good health and nutritional condition so that it can produce abundant and quality flowering. In addition, it is important to control irrigation and pruning properly to avoid water stress or damage to the branches that may affect flowering.
We don't like this answer very much. Milkweed is a different disease to whitefly. According to Antonio Montes, our mill master, milkweed is a secretion produced by different larvae that creates a kind of adhesive spider's web on the flowers before they open. Depending on the thickness and density of the pest, it will affect the crop to a greater or lesser extent, as it prevents flowering. It is only of concern if there are large numbers and it is a disease that cannot be prevented by hygiene or pruning the olive tree. Chemical products to prevent it are currently banned. This year's warm weather may benefit the olive harvest as the larvae die before secretion.
10. Why is it so detrimental to the flowering of the olive tree when it is hot in April? ✅
Summer temperatures in April can be detrimental to olive blossom for several reasons:
Flower desiccation: when temperatures are too high, the olive flower dehydrates and the anthers (male reproductive organs) can dehydrate and die before the pollen matures and is ready to be released. This can lead to a lower pollination and fertilisation rate of the flowers, resulting in a lower production of olives and thus of olive oil.
Lack of humidity: High temperatures can lead to a decrease in the relative humidity of the air, which can affect pollen viability and flower fertilisation. In addition, if there is not enough moisture in the soil, this can affect the availability of water and nutrients for the trees and flowers.
Lack of pollination: High temperatures can decrease the activity of the olive tree's natural pollinators, such as bees and other insects, which can affect flower pollination and olive production.
We have been a bit cruel as we have asked very technical questions, being Artificial Intelligence something so "virgin" nowadays. Even so, we like the fact that you have a basic understanding of the chemical elements that make up extra virgin olive oil and its benefits. Little by little, we hope that this useful tool will be nourished and enriched with knowledge so that it can provide 100% accurate information, even if it is technical and specific.