“El Callejón” from Prado del Rey, Cádiz has been registered by the Andalusian Ecological Committee (RE:No.0044/I) as the only artisanal estate in the province of Cádiz. Faithfulness to traditional oil extraction methods makes this craft unique.
Already in remote antiquity people found out that olives contained much fat and invented the easiest way to obtain oil from them: they just squeezed fresh olive juice and decanted it. This oil was highly appreciated for its miraculous healing effect because it had all the great health-giving power of “live” olives.
Centuries passed, olive oil production methods were tremendously improving, but the main principle still remains unchanged: juice is squeezed from fresh olives by strictly mechanical means in order to retain all their valuable natural properties. Good quality is achieved by selecting the best sorts of olives from the lush lands adjoining to the Grazalema Mountains National Park and the River Guadalete valleys. However, the production techniques are even more important. A Spanish proverb justly says: “Olives are from the God, olive oil is from the Master”.
The best and the oldest olive plantations are located in the highlands of Andalusia. Here, in this beautiful rustic part of Spain, near the Grazalema mountains, Laureano Sigler runs his family business at the bicentennial estate “El Callejon” where excellent, healthy and natural olive oil is extracted by classical methods of stone-grinding and cold-pressing through the hemp. It involves a lot of manual labour. No intricacies of commercialized mass production have ever touched upon this land. Here the oil is lovingly produced the medieval way, with a style that distinguishes it from all others: “old-fashioned” olive presses and grindstones are still being used in order to provide superb product quality. Time-proven artisanal secrets have been carefully imparted in the family from one generation to another, thus ensuring continuity and commitment to honoured traditions.
Just like centuries ago, at “El Callejon” huge stone grinders are used for crushing olives. Stone-crushed olive oil is the best because it retains a full-flavoured aroma and pristine fragrance of fresh olives. And most importantly, it retains all the anti-oxidants, which gives great advantage over the industrially processed olive oil manufactured by high-temperature / high-speed technologies destroying live substances and anti-oxidants inherent in fresh olives. It is worthwhile to note that regarding the content of anti-oxidants, authentic olive oil has no equals among plant oils: it contains over 100 active substances with strong anti-oxidant power neutralizing free radicals – the root cause of many diseases related to weakened immunity. And this amazing anti-oxidant efficacy can be easily explained: growing in very hot countries, olive trees have to defend themselves somehow from scorching sun rays and therefore they synthesize protective substances in abundance, which pass through to the oil.
Nevertheless, Andalusian climate is ideal for olive groves. The most aromatic oil is produced in the South of Spain. Andalusian summers are hot, sunny and long, olives have enough time to fully ripen and turn fleshy . This ripeness makes “El Callejon” oils gloriously good and endows them with something very special: a glimmering gold colour, intense robust flavour and ample aroma which reminds of crisp clean air in the mountains, fascinating scents of southern summer and fragrance of gentle breeze from the Mediterranean coast.
Produced oil is kept cold in XIX c. glazed earthenware vats without exposure to light and air, which allows to preserve its quality and maximum aroma intact. Low acidity is one more evidence of quality: it never exceeds 0.7%, that is why El Callejon’s olive oil stays fresh for long due to its little susceptibility to oxidation and rancidity.