Today, I was talking with a very nice lady originally from London and Jamaica who has lived on the southern tip of Mallorca for seven years. Her Mallorcan neighbor is 75 and every morning she walks out of her house wearing her swimming suit and jumps off the bank into the Sea and swims. The London-Jamaican expat asked her neighbor what her secret was to being strong and fit at her age. She said it was olives and olive oil.
Normally, I buy Trader Joes' organic olive oil in the States.
While in a grocery store in Mallorca, the corked glass bottle of Núñez de Prado 'Agricultura Ecologica' Olive Oil caught my eye and eventually the palate. To produce the elite Flor de Aceite, the handpicked olives grown without pesticides in Baena, Spain are channeled into an underground crusher where they are ground to mash by three-ton granite cones. From the crusher, the oily paste rides a conveyor to the Núñez de Prado’s Thermofilter, invented in Malaga, Spain in the last century by Marquis of Acapulco. The Thermofilter consists of two giant stainless steel rollers covered in a tight wire mesh, one atop the other, which slowly lift and turn. Oil from the crushed olives drips by gravity, strained through tiny holes—50 per square millimeter—and runs out through a trough at the bottom to a separate decantation system. What results is called the Flor de Aceite (Flower of the Oil). This oil is not pressed; it drips from the fruit naturally. Normally, a pressing yields a kilo of oil for every five kilos of olives; however, it takes eleven kilos of olives to make one kilo of Flor de Aceite. To qualify as extra virgin, olive oil must contain less than one percent acidity. Fine Italian oils are near 0.5 percent. On average, Núñez de Prado ranges from 0.09 to 0.17 percent; the low acidity minimizes the disturbance of the flavor compounds.
Núñez de Prado Extra Virgin Olive Oil is available in either glass or porcelain 500 ml bottles, and each individually numbered bottle has a label. You can find it at Dean and DeLuca in the United States.