Eating olive native to the region of Extremadura, the fruit of the cultivar known as Manzanilla Cacereña or Cacereña. It is a black fruit (in the process of ripening), medium weight (3-4 g), spherical in shape and slightly symmetrical. It has a round apex and a truncated base, as well as numerous small lenticels.
This is a dual-purpose olive, as although it has a low oil content and is used mainly as an eating olive, the oil is of high quality. This is the reason that is used for the production of oil with the Gata-Hurdes Protected Designation of Origin status. 80% of the production of Manzanilla Cacereña olives is destined for use as eating olives (black and marinated) and only the remaining 20% is used for olive oil.
Firm flesh, fine texture and balanced flavor (sharp-salty). It is used as an appetizer, in salads and as a garnish in a range of dishes.
The composition of the fruit is 51%-60% water, 18%-20% oil, with 20% corresponding to the stone. It has high levels of fiber, calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A, C, E and thiamin. It has 200 calories per 100 g / 3.53 oz of green olive; however this figure is higher for black olives. They are sold stuffed, whole, pitted, split, cracked and marinated, among others.
Production / Processing method
The Cacereña is a black olive collected at an advanced stage of ripeness, and processed or blackened by the effect of oxidation.
The olives are harvested by collecting directly from the tree by sliding the hand over the boughs and detaching the olives. These fall into the large nets known as tendales which are spread over the ground to avoid any bruising which might damage the fruit. Mechanized procedures are also used, always taking care to avoid bruising the fruit or allowing it to come into contact with the ground. The fruit is transported in conditions that guarantee the utmost cleanliness and care of the product, and is then placed in perforated plastic boxes with a capacity of 55.12 lb / 25 kg.
It is processed and transformed into an eating olive by means of a process of oxidation with alkaline bleach to eliminate the characteristic bitterness (oleourpein), and aired at intermittent intervals. This oxidation process lasts between five and nine days, and ends with a final washing stage in order to ensure the correct pH level.
Geography / Relief and climate
Extremadura has an area of 41,581.98 km2 and comprises the provinces of Badajoz (21,714 km2) and Cáceres (19,868 km2). It borders on Portugal to the west, Castile–La Mancha (Toledo and Ciudad Real) to the east, Castile-León (Avila and Salamanca) to the north, and Andalusia (Huelva, Seville and Córdoba) to the south.
This type of olive grows best in a typical Mediterranean climate, in areas of wet winters and low temperatures and with high temperatures in the dry season. According to studies, there is no risk of winter frost; in the last 20 years a temperature of 19.4ºF / –7ºC has been recorded on only two occasions. The average minimum temperature is around 26.6ºF / –3ºC. In contrast, at the start of spring there is a danger of late frosts of between 30.2 to 26.6ºF / –1 to –3ºC at altitudes of around 1968.5 to 2296.5 ft / 600 to 700 meters. In the hot season there is a risk of scorching during the summer, with temperatures of over 30.2ºF / 40ºC.
This type of olive grows best in a typical Mediterranean climate, in areas of wet winters and low temperatures and with high temperatures in the dry season.