Tuesday 15 May 2012

Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil review

You may remember a couple of weeks ago, I took part (here) in a blind test for two olive oils, one of which was a branded extra virgin, single variety olive oil and the other a market-leading branded pure and refined oil (non-extra virgin). Well, it was extremely easy (not to mention enlightening) to be able to tell the two apart within seconds, by looking at them, smelling them and tasting them. Having sent in my feedback (and having correctly identified which was which), I was rewarded with a bottle of the extra virgin, single variety olive oil that we had been examining in the blind test so I can now tell you that it was Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Never heard of it ? Well no, neither had I but that's normal as it's only just been released in the UK. The producers explain : "Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Spain’s No. 1 oil brand, with around 215,000 tonnes produced every year. This is four times total UK consumption, more than the entire production of Portugal and France combined, and more than half of the real Italian production, 70% of Greek production, and more than Tunisia or Turkey’s entire production. The finished product is exported to more than 70 countries."

That's the Hojiblanca brand oil but what abut the olives it is made from ? They explain : "Hojiblanca is one of the top three olive varieties grown worldwide. It dominates in the heart of Andalusia, between Antequera and Cordoba. The Hojiblanca olive (meaning ‘white leaf’ in Spanish) accounts for 16% of production in Andalusia. The olive is large (up to 4.8 grams) and spherical in shape, with a ratio of flesh to stone of 8:1. It is harvested when ripe, in late November to mid-December, and has a low yield of 17-19%, meaning it is harder to pick and rarely falls from the trees on its own. The olive has a high level of unsaturated fatty acids (75%) and linoleic acid (7%) and a low level of saturated fats, making it ideal for a healthy diet. Only the best-quality olives from the crop are selected to make the oil, so that they have a very low acidity level of 0.3%, against a maximum of 0.8% for all extra virgin olive oils"

OK, that's all very interesting, but what about the oil itself ? Well, I have to say I couldn't really notice any difference compared to our usual olive oil but that's because we always use a French extra virgin olive oil anyway so we're used to the good stuff ! The advertising for the brand says : "If you only ever crack out the extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the odd salad or dress a dinner party dish, you might be surprised to learn that people across the Mediterranean use extra virgin oil for all their everyday cooking needs – from marinades and casseroles to shallow frying, and everything else in between." Well, that's us ! Here at The Madhouse, we switched to olive oil quite a few years ago and it's the only oil I use now, as we ditched the deep fat frier in favour of an Actifry. Our roast dinner is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs (over the meat and potatoes), I use it for all shalllow frying and it's even what I use to grease muffin tins (using a piece of kitchen roll to spread it around the tins). I didn't even think of it as being unusual or Mediterranean but I guess it's a combination of the French influences and our trips abroad to Turkey and Tunisia.

The good news is, Hojiblanca promises to offer great value for money compared to other extra virgin oils on the market. At £3.49 for 500ml, it is affordable enough to be an everyday product and, amazingly, apparently only costs 10p more than the market-leading ‘refined’, non-extra virgin oil that we tried in the blind test and found completely insipid and tasteless.

If you're a virgin olive oil-virgin (!), this would be a great product to try because it will give you an insight into what you've been missing out on without breaking the bank. If you're like us, once you've switched over to olive oil, there will be no going back, both for the taste and the health benefits.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £3.49 for 500ml

available in selected Tesco stores 

for more information : http://www.hojiblanca.uk.com/

Disclosure : We received a bottle of  Hojiblanca olive oil after taking part in the olive oil tasting blogger's challenge.

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. I tend to stick with one brand of olive-oil but have recently been thinking that perhaps I should try a few different ones to compare taste. I shall look out for this one and give it a try. Thanks for posting

  2. I don't use olive oil very much because we are on a tight budget at the moment, but when we start to get back on track I will give this a go.

  3. I like Rainie Bish seem to stick to the same well known brand. I' think i'll give this one a go next time and see if I can taste any difference.

  4. I use olive oil for everything, my hair before a shampoo, my cuticles as a treatment at night,salads, roast potatoes .. will definitely try this if i can find it!

  5. I like to try different ones as they can be a little like wine in that one or two are exceptional (I love the gutsy peppery ones) but the larger bottles are our mainstay as they work out more economical. As you say, they do everything but deep fry and I don't have any of the guilt for using them. But I'm sure I read somewhere of someone deep frying with olive oil so it may need further investigation.

    1. I don't deep fry at all any more. We use the Actifry which only needs 1 spoonful of oil (olive oil or anything else) or none at all if you cook chips from frozen. It's really good and much healthier. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...