Selecting the right kind of olive tree is very important when planting for olive oil production. There are various types of olive trees, also called "Oleaceae," and not all of these species are adequate for olive oil production. Before making your selection, however, you must first examine your purpose, or what you are aiming to do with your production.
As we said there are several types of olive trees and hence many types of olive, producing a variety of similar yet unique olive oils. The first thing you want to ask yourself is, what kind of taste are you looking for? Are you looking for a delicate and subtle taste, or something very pungent and strong? Do you want a fruity or spicy olive oil? How you answer these questions will influence the kind of olive trees you will choose to plant.
It would take pages and pages to fully explain and detail the complex flavor of each kind of olive, but we have put together a short summary, to help see the big picture before looking for more details. Please note that some olives are more suited to cold climates and others to warmer climates.
Do take this into account before making your choice.
- Arbequina: Sweet, pungent and aromatic.
- Aglandau: Very fruity and bitter
- Barnea: Fruity and slightly bitter.
- Chemlali: Very pungent and strong, aromatic and fruity.
- Coratina: Green, strong and pungent.
- Frantoio: Very fruity and green and slightly bitter, a strong aroma.
- Hojiblanca: Fruity, mildly pungent, light bitterness.
- Koroneiki: Very fruity, herbaceous. Low bitterness.
- Manzanillo: Fruity and green. Pungent aroma and medium to low bitterness.
- Moraiolo: Very strongly fruity, green and pungent.
- Picholine: Very fruity. Aromatic, pungent and bitter.
- Verdial de Huevar: Mildly fruity and highly bitter.
1) "Variety and Maturity - The Two Largest Influences on Olive Oil Quality" by Paul Vossen
2) Olive Production Manual by Steven Sibbett