Judy and Jeff Lilly lived in Spain for 12 years. One day we were driving from our little pueblo (Mojacar) to Granada on a secondary road not far from the film studio where Clint Eastwood got his start making “Spaghetti Westerns”. We spotted a sign that looked interesting saying restaurant and museum and when we pulled in we actually found ourselves in the midst of a small but active olive processing mill. We met one of the family owners, Rafael, tasted his olive oil and found it to be of a quality and flavour we had not experienced before. The estate was called Oro del Desierto (Gold of the Desert). It immediately became the olive oil of choice for us and our friends in Mojacar. A few years later, after returning to Canada, we had been trying to think of a business to go into that took advantage of our knowledge of things Spanish. Our friends in Spain, Peter (R.I.P) and Ingeborg, get credit for giving us a little nudge as they had gone into the olive oil business themselves. We had been missing the unique flavours of Spanish EVOO and noticed that it was under represented on the grocery store shelves. We then realized that it was our calling to import Oro del Desierto, the very best Spanish Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Spanish Gold Imports (SGI), located in Qualicum Beach, BC, now specializes in importing this premium brand Spanish olive oil. With Judy’s fluency in Spanish, our residency in Spain, and a chance pull-off from the main road, we were able to establish a rapport with Oro del Desierto.
TODAY'S ORGANIC SPANISH OLIVE OIL
Nowadays, the cultivation of olives is akin to wine grapes. The first olives are harvested at the end of October and selected by a “Master Taster and Blender.” In order to preserve the freshness and antioxidants, olives are harvested and pressed within a few hours. For the Coupage, the “maestro” analyzes, selects, and blends various quantities to create a superb olive oil with a limited production. We are delighted to be able to offer the oils from Oro del Desierto, a multi award winning olive oil producer who is farming organically, sustainably, and ecologically. We became familiar with the oils after 2001, having purchased them for our own home use while living in Spain.
The Spanish have been experimenting with harvesting techniques and extraction methods in order to produce olive oils of the highest quality and there is now a greater variety of olives than ever before. Agricultural research into optimal irrigation, rapid harvesting, dense plantings and precise tracking of the olives from growth to bottling, are a few of the innovations that are pivotal to the increase in quality of Spanish EVOO. All of these procedures and more are being used and developed by Oro del Desierto.
North America's population continues to become more health food oriented and ethnically diverse. In general, consumers are becoming more aware of the nutritional benefits of olive oil as
specialty shops such as gourmet food emporiums and EVOO tasting rooms open in major centres everywhere. Like wine, the importance of proper food pairings with an appropriate oil has become
Be aware that extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs), particularly Italian, have recently received some bad press regarding their origin (lineage). “Yet most major U.S. brands continue to put "imported from Italy" on the front label in large letters and other origins on the back in very small print. In fact, olive oil labeled 'Italian' often comes from Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, and Greece. This makes it unclear what percentage of the olive oil is really of Italian origin.” Wikipedia. This is why we sell oil only from a boutique organic producer with proven lineage (similar to quality wines) that is a member of EVA “Extra Virgin Alliance” to “provide consumer assurance through the EVA Mark of Quality and Authenticity”. See http://getgoodoil.org
As stated on the label:
"Contains extra virgin olive oil produced using traditional methods from carefully selected olives hand picked at the peak of ripeness."
Academic Requirements for a salesperson of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil