Corti Brothers Peru 2022 Harvest Criolla Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This year, 2022, we have a new selection of extra virgin oil from the southern hemisphere. From Peru precisely. Present day Peru, is only one part of what was one of the most important Spanish outposts in the New World. It was a Vice-royalty, meaning that it controlled various lands which became different countries in the Spanish part of South America. The first olives trees were imported into what we now know as Peru in 1519 and were known to be the Sevillano cultivar, which now has taken on the name of “Criolla.” It has adapted to conditions in the country and was given its name “Criolla” since it became, like the Mission grapes in California, emblematic as the “original” planted variety of olive. This variety was selected because of its dual purpose attitude: use as a table olive and for oil. But its use as a table olive was primary. For the colonies, oil came from Spain.
Seventy percent of Peru’s olive production is for table olives and a majority is from Criolla. But it is not only the variety that makes good oil; it has to be made properly. I think you will find that this new oil will surprise and delight you. Sevillano oil is also made in California, and you should taste it when found.
Another oil from Peru selected is the southern Italian cultivar Coratina. This cultivar produces oil in Italy’s south and now is found also in California. Our Peruvian example is a wonderful example of the cultivar with great pungency. This characteristic makes Coratina an oil highly regarded by lovers of full flavored oils.
The two Spanish oils selected for this year were again produced under the sharp eye of Marino Uceda, probably Spain’s most famous oil expert. There are two: an Hojiblanca from Málaga offered last year and a Picudo, new for this year.
The Hojiblanca comes from an orchard, designed and planted by Marino for his wife’s family. The property is in Málaga. Picudo is one of Spain’s less planted varietals, making a very intense, yet balanced oil, again from the southern end of Andalucia. Picudo is rarely seen as a varietal oil, but produces a very fine, intense oil. It should be experienced.
All four oils have been bottled by MillPress in Pennsylvania.