Mild or intense olive oil

Mild or intense olive oil

The taste and aroma of extra virgin olive oil depends mainly on its freshness and variety. Other factors influencing its strongest or most intense taste are the water conditions experienced by the olive tree and the milling proces. Extra virgin olive oils can be roughly classified into mild or intense olive oil. live oils can be roughly classified into mild or intense olive oil. Depending on what one or the other is looking for, we must choose one variety or the other. Normally, for people who are not used to extra virgin olive oil, it is better to take mild varieties rather than intense olive oil.


  1. Mild oil: the extra virgin olive oils with the mildest flavour
  2. Most common varieties of soft oil
  3. What is soft olive oil used for?
  4. Intense oil: the most intense extra virgin olive oils
  5. Mild olive oil for baking
  6. Olive oils 0.2 and o.4 for kitchen
  7. Mild oil for mayonnaise

Summary: Consumers classify extra virgin olive oils as mild or strong. In fact, some commercial brands do the same. Therefore, here we provide information to help you find a mild or stronger oil, while ensuring it is always of high quality. However, in our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid we indicate the most suitable flavour and aroma for your dishes within our great variety of oils: arbequina, cornicabra, picual, royal, etc.

Other articles of interest: Where to buy olive oil?

1. Extra virgin olive oils with a milder taste

Sometimes consumers look for olive oils with little taste and that do not sting or sour anything. However, it should be noted that the aromas, itchiness and bitterness are given by the minor components of extra virgin olive oil. These components are very beneficial to health, as they degrade over time in terms of oxygen, temperature and light.

a) Factors that make the oil soft

The factors that influence the taste of the oil are the following:

  • Its freshness:

The fresher it is, the more it will taste. Therefore, oils from the new season, which begins in October or November, will have a greater aroma, taste, spiciness and bitterness.

  • The variety:

The picual and conicabra varieties are the ones with the strongest flavours, with more spiciness and bitterness. On the other hand, the rest of the varieties are softer. At the extreme of softness, it would be the empeltre.

  • Milling techniques:

An oil collected early and milled at lower temperatures will give rise to softer oils. Harvesting at the time of veraison and extraction temperatures that are closer to the maximum permitted will lead to a greater extraction of antioxidants. As a result, an oil that is more bitter and pungent will be achieved.

  • Weather and water stress.

In years with scarce rainfall, when the olive tree suffers great water stress, i.e. a shortage of water, the oils come out with a more intense flavour, both bitter and spicy. Likewise, irrigated olive trees, which do not have water stress, always produce softer and less spicy oils.

  • In packaging:

Good packaging and proper storage extend the life of the oil and preserve its aromas and flavor for longer. Therefore, an oil with more flavor should be bought in a good container. The best containers are bag-in-box, glass, and tin. Plastic is the worst option.

These are the natural factors that give more or less intense flavours to the oil. Another thing, is when several oils are mixed in an intentional way to achieve a type of flavour in the oil. In this way we can achieve soft or intense oils a la carte.

For this reason, we are against this terminology of acidity or mild or intense. An oil will be milder or more intense depending on its nature, but to indicate on the label a fixed intensity throughout the year, and without any further information, leads us to think that the oils are clearly adulterated.

2. Most common varieties of soft oil

Therefore, if you want an oil with all its benefits and that has a mild flavour, we recommend that you look for the following varieties:

a) Empeltre

The extra virgin olive oil of the year and without manipulation with a softer taste would be the empeltre. A variety grown in Southern Aragon and protected by a Designation of Origin with the same name, Bajo Aragón.

For more information, you can visit: Empeltre olive oil

b) Arbequina

The arbequina variety would be another of the softest, and at the same time, one of the most fruity. The arbequina extra virgin olive oil is one of the most demanded oils because of its very low spiciness and high fruity aroma, a fruity taste generally of freshly cut grass.

For more information, you can visit: Arbequina olive oil

c) Royal

Soft olive oil, from the royal variety

Picture 1: Royal variety extra virgin olive oil

Royal is another variety that could be included in the soft oil group. Royal olive oil is native to Sierra de Cazorla, where we obtain it from the La Bética cooperative.

For more information, you can visit: Royal olive oil

3. What is soft olive oil for?

The soft extra virgin olive oil is ideal for preparing dishes where you want the oil not to stand out, for example: in pastries, mayonnaise, white fish dishes, salmorejos, tartares.

These varieties mentioned above can also be used in frying, and will give less flavor to fried foods. However, they need to be renewed more frequently, as they withstand a little worse high temperatures. They withstand but the high temperatures when compared to the varieties of picual and cornicabra, but endure much better than refined and seed oils.

People who don’t like the oil to sting and want an oil with very little flavor, these are ideal oils for them.

4. Intense olive oil

The extra virgin olive oils with a more intense flavour correspond to oils from the picual and cornicabra varieties. Oils with a great taste, that itch and are a little bitter the fresher they are.

Extra virgin olive oils with a more intense taste are ideal for people who like the taste of olive oil. In cooking, these oils are used when you want the use of the oil to be highlighted on the plate. Ideal for frying, salads, vinaigrettes and stews.

The picual and cornicabras varieties are the most suitable for frying. Those that maintain all their qualities even after several frying processes. These varieties give aroma to fried foods, but they are lost after the second frying process.

5. Mild olive oil for baking

The older and more refined the oils, the softer they are. However, if you are looking for quality in your pastries as well as smoothness, we recommend the Empeltre variety. The Empeltre oil is the mildest of all oils, being of the year, therefore the most suitable of all. If you do not have Empeltre oil, you will also do very well with the Arbequina and Royal varieties. Both are a little stronger but also very suitable for baking.

6. Olive oils 0.2 and o.4 for cooking

The 0.1, 0.2 or 0.4 indicates the oil grade. On this subject you can understand it much better in our article, oil acidity. Therefore, it is true that the acidity depends on the quality, but also on factors other than quality. For this reason, one should not look only at the acidity. Moreover, to indicate the acidity is to create confusion and mislead the average consumer who does not know what acidity is.

7. Mild mayonnaise oil

For the preparation of mayonnaise, kitchen experts recommend using the empeltre variety, as it is the mildest and gives a very rich touch to this mayonnaise. If this variety is not available, it is also delicious with arbequina and Baena oils.

We always recommend using extra virgin olive oil for everything. You can also make it with the refined oils, but the mayonnaise would have less beneficial properties for the health.


The magazine specialized in extra virgin olive oil

Characteristics of intense olive oil

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