There are many types of olive oil, each using different varieties of olives. Typically, one of several varieties of olives are used for oil – Arbequina, Ascolano, Frantoio, Leccino, Manzanillo, Maurino, Mission, Pendolino, and Sevillano. Each has its own unique characteristics, benefits and oil yield.
Olea is the genus of olives and it contains 20 different species of olive. Of all 20 kinds, only one is used for eating and making olive oil. This is the olea europaea, which is native to the Mediterranean region and several other warm weather climates such as Africa and southern Asia. Today, 95% of the world’s olive oil is still made on the Mediterranean. Usually the Ascolano and Sevillano varieties are used for jarring because they don’t produce very much oil. Frantoio, Abrequina, and Lucca appear smaller in size but contain more oil, and so they are most often used to make olive oil.
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