The certificate of origin for “Aceitunas de Mallorca” is for the species of olive native to Mallorca, hand-picked and partially pickled. This qualification of Mallorcan olives has three types of olives that are separated by their level of maturation, and more importantly, their seasoning.
Whole Green: These are harvested before they ripen (before maturation). Their color is between green and a dull, yellowish green. Its flavor is intense, balanced between acidic, salty, and bitter. They are firm olives to the touch and in the mouth, and they have an intense vegetable aroma with a hint of mineral due to brine.
Sliced Green: These olives are also harvested before maturation, but they are sliced and seasoned with fennel and chili pepper from Mallorca. It has an intense flavor that comes off as salty and bitter. Its aroma is given a special sharpness by the fennel and chili pepper.
Natural Black: These olives are harvested after they ripen, almost over-ripen, and they are seasoned with oil from Mallorca. It is dark brown with a soft and irregular texture to the touch. In the mouth, it is juicy with an intense flavor that mixes acidity and saltiness.
The olives of Mallorca are characterized by a degree of bitterness, smoothness, and a very distinct smell that distinguishes them from the rest of the Spanish olives. The bitterness is an effect of the high percentage of polyphenols, in addition to the traditional process of production that modifies the characteristic components of antioxidants, which are responsible for the bitterness and astringency.
The cultivation of olives in Mallorca has been a tradition since the before the time of the Romans. It was during the Roman era in which they perfected the technique for growing olives. On can see the evolution of the commercial business for olives through the works of writers. For example, Gavius Apicius, a food expert in the year 25 A.C., wrote a manifesto that revealed that the Romans had prepared the olives in a very similar fashion that the farmers currently use. “El Comercio Colonial Mallorquín,” by Charles Manera Erbina, relates the exporting of the olives from Mallorca with the destination of Antillas and other places in South America. In the year 1790, they began to about for 1,084 exported arrobas. Many of these such documents exist, and they all point to the commercial importance of the olive as well as the importance of the gastronomy of the island. There are even popular refrains that make references to the olives produced in Mallorca. For example: “De aceitunas y bellotas, tantas cogen los niños como los mayores” (“Of olives and acorns, as many take the children as the older ones”).
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