miércoles, 13 de enero de 2010

Olive oil with "Designation of Origin" and its history

Oil in Southern Aragon over the Course of History

The history of the olive tree in Southern Aragon is very similar to its history throughout Mediterranean area, given its proximity to this area and its particular climate, which is similar to that of the Levante region. It may have been introduced by the Phoenicians or Greeks but what we do know is that it was not very widely grown until the arrival of Scipio, as can be deduced from Avienus’ Ora Maritima, in which the river Ebro is referred to as “oleum flumen”, or “oil river”.

The olive-growing wealth of the area of Alcañiz (Southern Aragon) is demonstrated by its magnificent thousands-year-old trees. These trees are among the oldest in Spain and were introduced into the area during the Roman domination. The incentive with which the aldermen of Aragon rewarded the cultivation of the olive tree in the form of Real de Vellón , which each town hall was obliged to pay per “planzón” or olive grove one year after it was planted and had taken root, was decisive for the definitive settling of this tree in the area. In this way, leafy olive trees gradually began to cover mountain areas and plains in the region, the boundaries of which were marked by the soils and the atmospheric agents, due to the demands of the trees themselves, to the benefit of the farmers; today (in the mid 20th century), these areas produce an average annual harvest of eight million kilograms. In those times, animal-driven Arabic mills were used to extract the oil and hand-operated beam presses to deal with the harvest, until the French introduced new manufacturing techniques around 1866 and the oils began to become less turbid and acidic...

Visit the website of Aceite del Bajo Aragon to find out more

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