MOROCCO GOLD EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL : FROM AN AMAZING NEW SOURCE
Morocco is a country of rich geographical and cultural diversity especially in virgin olive oil. It is also a country undergoing major transformation, celebrating it’s rich heritage, whilst modernising key sectors of it’s economy. This includes it’s thriving agricultural sector, which currently employs around 40 percent of the nation’s workforce, making it the largest employer in the country.
Our love affair with this wonderful, diverse and fascinating country started 12 years ago when we renovated a Riad in the centre of Marrakech’s historic medina. Since then, we have travelled in all directions to explore the rich diversity that Morocco offers.
We discovered less well-known Morocco, the rich agricultural regions nestling in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains that have been supplying local markets for generations. We soon recognised this ‘Garden of Eden’ on the doorstep of Europe as a wonderful source of traditionally cultivated, natural, healthy produce, rich in nutrients as well as exciting new tastes.
A key part of the agricultural sector is olive cultivation and the production of olive oils. Even though olive cultivation has been part of Morocco’s agricultural scene since the Roman era, and Morocco is now the world’s fourth largest producer of olive oil, the quality and unique properties of Moroccan olive oil have been relatively unknown.
We also recognised the need to update local quality control and traceability practices to enable this wonderful olive oil to be sold in UK and other international markets. We, together with a dear old friend, Bob Watson who has vast experience in the food and drinks industry, and Jaouad Hadani who has strong family ties with the Moroccan agricultural sector, worked closely with local producers, the result is Morocco Gold.
Morocco Gold is an award winning, superior quality, single estate extra virgin olive oil from an entirely new source for the UK and international markets. The oil is made from olives grown in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, where the unique micro-climate and soils, with mild winters and summers caressed by hot winds from the Sahara, together make ideal growing conditions for Morocco Gold olives.
Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil was formally launched at the end of January 2018 to our trade customers and later in the year made directly available to our internet customers via our website www.morocco-gold.com.
The response to date has been truly amazing. Morocco Gold is now available to health conscious food lovers in some of the UK’s most prestigious, luxury retailers including Fortnum & Mason, Partridges of London, as well as specialist on-line fine food retailers and specialist delicatessens around the country. A whole series of ‘firsts’ for a Moroccan extra virgin olive oil and a quite remarkable achievement in such a short space of time.
Morocco Gold is now leading the way in bringing this wonderful extra virgin olive oil from this ‘Garden Of Eden’ on the doorstep of Europe into the UK. At a time when traditional source countries are facing major challenges from unusual weather, proliferation of insects, bacterial blight, adulteration, mis-labelling and fraud, Morocco Gold represents a secure, scale-able new source of supply for this original ‘superfood’.
THE AMAZING TASTE OF MOROCCO GOLD EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Since launching Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil we have held a series of tasting events at our retail outlets. We are always delighted to meet our customers and to tell them the story about Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil and how it arrived in the UK. We have had some great conversations about our extra virgin olive oil, the wonderful country of Morocco and its culture. Many have either visited the country or are planning to do so.
By far and away our biggest success for has been the feedback at our tasting events, also from experts within the food and drink sector on the taste of Morocco Gold. We have also made some great new friends via social media who are equally passionate about healthy food and lifestyles who have tried and loved the taste of Morocco Gold.
Our extra virgin olive oil is produced from the Picholine Marocaine olive. Our olives are picked early in the harvesting season when the fruit is young. This gives Morocco Gold it’s distinctive green fruitiness, hints of sweet almonds, fresh turf and a hint of herbs. It has the distinctive ‘pepperiness’ of a fine extra virgin olive oil giving Morocco Gold a clean, well balanced finish that delivers an elevated gastronomic experience for food lovers.
“I’m a complete convert. It is absolutely delicious. I’ve used it for both salads and low temp cooking and it delivers on taste and smell. I also love the premium packaging”.
Having tried the best olive oils available in my local supermarket I can confidently say this easily beats them all. If you haven’t tried it yet, treat yourself to one bottle and I promise you it will be the best oil you’ve ever tasted”.
“Absolutely loved the oil. Such incredible quality. A thumbs up from us!”
“The scrummiest olive oil I have had in a very long time! – thank you for getting in my life”
MOROCCO GOLD EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL HEALTH BENEFITS
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is probably the most extensively researched foodstuff on the planet and the health benefits are evidence based. Thanks to the recent spotlight on the Mediterranean Diet, extensive research has been done on the phytonutrient composition of olive oil. What has been discovered is an extensive list of phytonutrients; one of the most praised is its polyphenols. The amount of polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil is truly amazing!
Polyphenols are a potent antioxidant – one that can decommission a nasty molecule in your body called free radicals. Free radicals can ricochet around inside your body and harm good cells. Antioxidants, such as the polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil, work to neutralize free radicals; protecting the body from their harmful antics.
In fact the European Food Safety Agency has now approved health claims for extra virgin olive oils with polyphenol content of more than 250mg / kg. Morocco Gold contains polyphenols well above this level. So here are some of the ways that Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil can improve everyday health and well-being.
Reduced of risk of cardiovascular diseases
Cardiovascular diseases are the top cause of death in the industrialised world. A host of studies have documented that arteriosclerosis is closely linked to eating habits and lifestyle.
“… The lowest rates of death from coronary heart disease are currently recorded in the countries where olive oil is virtually the only fat consumed.”
– Professor Francisco Grande Covian
Beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis
Olive oil reduces the risk of the flow or reflux of food and gastric juice up from the stomach to the oesophagus, the gastric content of the stomach is released more slowly and gradually into the duodenum, giving a greater sensation of “fullness”.
Maintains the digestive tract in good health.
Olive oil produces a small amount of secretion by the pancreas, making this organ “work” little, but efficiently and enough to carry out all its digestive functions. It stimulates the absorption of various nutrients (calcium, Iron, magnesium, etc.).
Olive oil, therefore, is a fat that is digested and absorbed really well. It has choice properties and a mild laxative effect that helps to combat constipation and bad breath.
Helps to reduce blood pressure
Certain foods can raise blood pressure besides having an effect on body weight. Along with high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, obesity and diabetes, it is one of the main health problems of the developed world.
One in every four adults is hypertensive. This increases the risk of early death because of the damage to the body’s arteries, especially the arteries that supply blood to the heart, kidneys, brain and eyes. Addition of olive oil to a diet has a clear lowering effect on blood pressure. Regular consumption of olive oil decreases both systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) blood pressure.
Help control healthy cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is a fatty substance contained in foods of animal origin. Diets containing a large amount of animal fats raise blood cholesterol level, which is one of the chief risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LdL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time it does not alter the levels of HbL-cholesterol (and may even raise them), which plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches and recurrent heart disease.
Olive oil eases or prevents diabetes
An Olive Oil rich diet is not only a good alternative in the treatment of diabetes, it may also help to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. How it does so is by preventing insulin resistance lowering triglycerides and ensuring better blood sugar level control and lower blood pressure.
Olive oil lessens the severity of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a reduction in bone tissue mass that increases the risk of fractures. There are two types. Type I occurs in middle-aged, post-menopausal women and type II in the elderly. Olive oil appears to have a favourable effect on bone calcification, and bone mineralisation is better the more olive oil is consumed. It helps calcium absorption, thereby playing an important part during the period of growth and in the prevention of osteoporosis.
It really is the original ‘superfood’ that has stood the test of time and will continue to do so.
MAINTAINING THE QUALITY OF OLIVE OIL
As consumers in the UK and other markets are showing greater interest in healthy eating and lifestyles, provenance, authenticity and high quality have become paramount. We have put our customers at the heart of our Morocco Gold project.
The exceptionally high quality of Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is the result of care and attention to detail throughout the entire production process.
The specific soil conditions of the Beni Mellal region, together with the mild winters and summers, caressed by hot winds from the Sahara, make ideal growing conditions for Morocco Gold olives. The existence of centenary trees and traditional presses (maasras) testify to the longevity of olive cultivation in this area.
Ground work and tillage is carried out once or twice a year: once in winter to facilitate rainwater infiltration into the soil, and in spring to rotate the soil.
Planting is done at the beginning of spring. There is some permitted intercropping of cereals, also almond trees, that contribute to the hint of almonds in Morocco Gold.
In addition to natural rainfall, which is generally sufficient in the geographical area, trees are irrigated as needed during the period of vegetation of the olive tree, normally until the end of September.
Fruiting sizing and assessment of the maturity of the olive is carried out annually. The planned date of harvest is agreed based on the maturity index of the olives, also the generations of experience of the olive farmers. Harvesting will then normally take place between the end of October and beginning of December.
Morocco Gold olives are harvested by hand using flexible combs. Nets and tarpaulins are placed on the ground to avoid contact between the olives and the ground.
Aerated boxes are used for the immediate transport of the harvested olives from the orchard to the crushing unit. On receipt, the olives are checked to ensure their quality, in particular color and appearance, any defective or malformed olives.
The olives will then pass through a stripper to removes any impurities. They are then washed and drained before processing. Leaf stripping and washing eliminate impurities, whether of vegetable origin such as leaves, twigs or mineral matter such as dust, earth, stones and other solids. Washing not only improves the quality of the product but also extraction efficiency.
Extraction of oil is carried out in a two-phase continuous process. This minimizes handling of the olives and maintains strict control of hygiene.
Grinding of the olives is carried out using a metal hammer mill which is made of stainless steel. The paste obtained then undergoes a kneading or malaxation process which is the fundamental operation to separate the solid and liquid phases. This kneading operation is carried out for 40 to 50 minutes at temperatures not exceeding 27 ° C. In this way, the extracted oil may be labeled: cold-extracted oil or cold pressed oil.
The well-kneaded dough is sent to a horizontal decanter where the continuous and simultaneous separation of the oil and wet cakes is achieved by a combination of centrifugal force and of the rotation of a conveyor screw which rotates inside the bowl.
The time between harvest and pulping does not exceed 24 hours. Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is unfiltered to retain all of it’s natural properties and goodness. Nothing is added or taken away so that it is the result of the soil, the sun and the rain only.
Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is tested locally in Morocco by ONSSA (National Office for the Sanitary Protection of Food Products), then independently re-tested by Eurofins to International Olive Oil Council standards.
Uniquely, we include the results of our testing on each and every bottle of Morocco Gold so that our customers can see at a glance the guarantee of extra virgin olive oil quality.
For health conscious, discerning food lovers across all cultures and culinary backgrounds, Morocco Gold’s exquisite taste and health enhancing qualities are guaranteed by our rigorous testing, provenance and authenticity, and strict adherence to single estate sourcing, with no blending or mixing with other olive oils.
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH MOROCCO GOLD
Extra virgin olive oil is without doubt the most aromatic, healthy and tastiest of all the olive oils. But, what many people don’t know, is that Extra Virgin Olive Oil such as Morocco Gold can be used for so much more than just drizzling over a Bruschetta.
Fancy a healthy alternative to a salad dressing? A splash of extra virgin olive oil mixed with vinaigrette makes salads super healthy and taste delicious.
Having friends over, or fancy an evening dining Al Fresco? Using extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold as a dip for crispy, fresh bread is a great way to get the taste buds going.
Yup, you read that correctly – ice cream! A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over your ice cream really helps bring out the flavour in the ice cream and adds to the creamy texture. One to try out for sure! Who’d have thought it!
A simple drizzle of this scrumptious oil over your soup can make all the difference. You don’t need much to seek the benefits. It adds a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the hot soup and a special richness.
Fancy a quick and easy recipe? Simply oven roast chicken, chorizo and loads of veg with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Not only does it help the food cook and give it its golden brown appearance, but it also adds a premium, tasty addition to the dish.
If you are guilty of overusing heated hair products or have dry hair, then try this. Just apply a tiny amount of extra virgin olive oil to your head. it leaves the scalp healthy, improves blood circulation in the head, reduces damage and also encourages hair follicles to grow. Win, Win!
By mixing extra virgin olive oil with coarse salt and orange flower water, it acts as a nurturing body scrub, leaving your skin soft and treated with healthy minerals and vitamins to give your skin the treatment it deserves.
If you suffer from dry skin extra virgin olive oil penetrates deep into the skin providing needed moisture as well as a shield to protect your skin, keeping it smooth. The oil contains vitamins A and E which is great for protecting your skin from daily tribulations.
By applying extra virgin olive oil to sun burn, it speeds up the healing process through its polyphenol compounds which help repair damage to the skin.