Acid League Olive Oil: What Makes It Special?
A short while after graduating from university, Allan Mai, one of Acid League’s co-founders, found himself on the other side of the world. (As he puts it: “I was trying to find myself in Spain after graduating, as one does.”)
Allan took a job at Oleazara, an olive oil producer in Zaragoza, located in the region of Aragón. He spent several months immersed in the oil-making process, surrounded by some of the world’s most noteworthy olives.
Aragón’s terroir stands apart from the rest of Spain, producing oils marked by a characteristic aroma and fruitiness. And Oleazara was no exception, with groves scattered around the region that contained trees that had been standing for as long as 300 years. Legendary chef Ferrán Adriá once even declared Oleazara’s products to be among the most balanced extra virgin olive oils in Spain.
Years later, when Acid League was ready to create its first-ever olive oil, Allan knew exactly where to look.
Oleazara’s oils are produced using exacting methods, including the all-important early-morning harvest, which helps preserve the olive oil’s most delicate qualities. (Nope, ‘harvesting at dawn’ isn’t just a marketing gimmick!)
As exposure to heat and light denatures finished oils, so does sunlight and heat cause damage to the olives’ flavor after being picked.
Naturally, the ideal option would be to harvest overnight—but birds sleep in the olive grove, and mechanical harvesters could potentially be harmful to local wildlife.
Oleazara’s solution: Harvesting precisely at dawn—then whisking the olives away to be cold-pressed just half an hour later. The speed of the process, as well as the lack of heat involved, preserves the fruitiness and aroma derived from Aragón’s unique climate.
With a whole brand built around the vast flavor possibilities of vinegar, we naturally needed some mind-blowing olive oil to match. Pretty soon, we realized just one oil wasn't going to cut it.
Instead, we picked two single-origin oils to kick things off. Both are made from early-harvest olives to ensure more intense flavor, and both cold-pressed to preserve those distinctly Aragon fruity notes and aromas—but these two are siblings, not twins.
One’s sweet and delicate, the other’s spicy and bold, and both are an ideal complement for our vinegars (and a perfect finishing touch for nearly any dish).
Arbequina is a full-flavored finishing punch with tons of rich, spicy, nutty character. These olives, organically grown in the tiny mountain community of Castejón De Valdejasa (population 315), are produced using regenerative farming practices that reuses the farm’s raw materials and energy, reducing overall waste. A mid-November harvest amps up the green, spicy notes, while cold-pressing preserves the region’s signature fruity flavors.
Empeltre olives are not only unique to a very small growing area within Spain—they’re among the country's longest-running olive varieties. Oleazara’s team describes Empeltre olives as having “a very mild flavor with an almost imperceptible bitterness and spiciness,” giving way to a delicate, lightly fruity finished oil.
HOW TO USE
We selected these oils for their gorgeous depth, balance and complexity—the kind of flavor your everyday cooking oil (olive or otherwise) just can’t match.
That’s why, instead of frying or sautéing, we suggest that you savor these olive oils as a dressing, drizzle or dip. Think of them like a squeeze of fresh lemon, a pinch of finishing salt, or a pat of quality butter: The perfect finishing touch to take your dish to the next level.
(Sure, you could cook with them—but since heat robs olive oil of its more complex notes, you’re better off saving finer-quality oils to finish off your dishes so that you can really enjoy those flavors to the fullest.)
Different dishes benefit from different drizzles: Arbequina’s fresh, peppery notes are an ideal match for seafood, bitter greens, or anything that needs a little extra kick.
And Empeltre’s softer, sweeter character make it an ideal supporting player for homemade focaccia, spring salads, and even vanilla ice cream (trust us—it’s especially good with flaky sea salt on top.
Fortunately, we won’t make you choose. Pick up our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Duo and experience olive oil as you’ve never tried it before.