The Arbequina olive variety is named after the city of Arbequa (now Arbeca) in the province of Lleida, in Catalonia. These olive trees were brought to Europe from Jerusalem in the 17th century by the Duke of Medinaceli. In those days, the duke owned quite a lot of Spanish lands, including Arbequa.
Arbequina is a small (up to 4 meters) tree with a wide, low canopy and glossy, silvery green leaves that retain their color all year round. Arbequina olives are small fruits that have a round symmetrical shape.
During the ripening process, the Arbequina olives change their color from light green to pink to dark, purplish brown. The ripe fruit is very fragrant, dark brown in color, with a rounded top and a wide stem cavity.
The Arbequina olive is now one of the most widely cultivated varieties in the world. These olives can be found throughout Spain, Italy, the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East, as well as California, South America, Australia and North Africa.
Such a wide distribution of Arbequina is mainly due to its unpretentiousness and good adaptation to various climate and soil conditions. So if you think about a decorative olive tree for your yard or terrace, you should definitely consider Arbequina. This tree does not require special care, it is self-pollinating and begins to bear fruit already 3-5 years after planting the seedling in the soil.
Arbequina grows well in alkaline soils and enjoys long, hot, dry summers.
However, this variety is quite frost-resistant. Arbequina easily tolerates frosts down to -7°C, which allows it to be grown also in the north of the Mediterranean.
The Arbequina olive tree is very resistant to various pests, including the olive fly.
This makes it possible to grow these olives organically, without the use of pesticides. The crop is usually harvested by hand, as the crown of these trees hangs low to the ground.
Arbequina olives are mostly used for oil production. They are ripened early and have a high yield of olive oil.
Arbequina olive oil has a very mild, delicate and slightly sweet taste and oily texture. There are always fresh fruity notes of banana, green apple and almond in the taste and aroma.
A distinctive feature of this oil is the fairly large percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to other olive oils. Olive oil Arbequina contains a small number of polyphenols, which is immediately noticeable due to the almost complete absence of bitterness and peppery aftertaste.
At the same time, Arbequina contains a significant amount of oleic acid, which helps us maintain the health of the heart and blood vessels, reducing the level of bad cholesterol.
The mild flavor of arbequina makes this oil an ideal ingredient for a variety of sauces, from light mayonnaise to savory pesto. This olive oil goes great with Greek yogurt and freshly baked homemade bread.
The Arbequina is not only olive oil, this variety is also good as table olives. The juicy flesh of these olives makes them ideal for making pizza, bread and various pastries.