Best Olive Oils in the World Named for 2014

Best Olive Oils in the World Named for 2014 | Olive Oil Times
Curtis M. Cord, president of the New York International Olive Oil Competition, with NYIOOC Panel Leaders Paul Vossen (left) and Antonio G. Lauro, announced the winners at a press conference Thursday.

In front of a packed house at the International Culinary Center Theater in New York City, Curtis Cord, president of the New York International Olive Oil Competition, flanked by his judging panel, recognized the best olive oil producers in the world at a crowded press conference.

Amid an atmosphere electric with palpable excitement and nervous anticipation, an audience of olive oil producers, marketers, food industry professionals and press, along with viewers worldwide tuning into the live-streamed broadcast, listened attentively as Cord detailed the specifics of the competition. The minutes and seconds until the results were to be announced ticked away on a countdown clock on the theater screen.

SEE THE WINNERS: The Complete List of the World’s Best Olive Oils

Over the course of four days, an esteemed international panel of expert olive oil tasters evaluated a collection of 651 oils from 25 countries among 24 categories. Cord began by recognizing all of the participants: “Many of these producers will not win an award today. It does not mean their olive oil is bad. It simply means that on this day, it did not score well enough with our international panel of judges to be placed at the top. To those producers who don’t win today, let me say this — thank you for your ambition to produce a product of magnificent quality — and congratulations for possessing such spirit and aspiration to do something very difficult and vitally important, for the benefit of all of us.”

Best Olive Oils in the World Named for 2014 | Olive Oil Times
Mahmut Cimen was awarded two Gold Medals for his Ottoman Gourmet Ayvalik Monovarietal and Ottoman Gourmet Mualla Sultan from Turkey

Cord informed the audience that Spain and Italy had won the most medals in the competition, though other countries had notable showings. Interestingly, all four entries from Slovenia won awards, including one Best In Class. Three of Mexico’s six entries won awards.

Cord bantered with attendees as only a few minutes remained before the official unveiling. Several audience members even started counting down once it reached the ten second mark. Finally, at exactly 6:00 pm EDT, Cord pressed a button to dramatically unveil the competition’s winners. The audience broke into applause as each Best In Class winner was displayed on the screen. Next followed all other award winners inciting lively chatter, and the occasional cheer, among the captivated crowd.

All of the New York International Olive Oil Competition winners can be found the website www.bestoliveoils.com. The site contains detailed information on all of the winners including specific features of the oils, judges’ tasting notes and links to producers’ websites.

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This article was last updated December 2, 2014 - 1:50 PM (GMT-5)

  • yacine zaier

    any competition that doesnt include Tunisian oil as winner is simply rigged :D

    • stevewilson

      Tunisia did, in fact, win 2 medals from its 10 entries: http://www.bestoliveoils.com/statistics/

    • BOMBA777

      Simply untrue because regardless of what anyone claims because Spain produces the best olive oil in the world.

  • Robert S.

    This was an amazing event. An extremely interesting seminar program and great energy. Thank you for organizing it. I will be back next year for sure.

    • Theresa

      Totally agree — this was a fantastic event that will benefit all in this business — and people who care about this product,

      • Sam

        I have a small oil company in Umbria that won a Silver. Should we be proud of this? Moving forward, does our company have a chance at increasing their distribution to our countries other than Italy? Anyone have an opinion on this?

        • Giorgio

          Sam, I would say most definitely you should be proud. I also am a small producer in Sicily. So small I can say most certainly we are smaller than you. We won a Silver last year and Gold this year. We were very proud then and more so this year. Are there customers knocking on our door as a result of the medals? Sadly no. But that’s the nature of business right? You have to seek out your customers and having the medals does seem to help get the attention of our prospective clients. We will most definitely be back next year.
          In bocca al lupo!

          • Sam

            Grazie è in bocca al lupo a te Giorgio!

          • Lena

            Is their a possibility to buy couple of bottles from you? Just may be 2 bottles. denisrenator@gmail.com

          • Giorgio

            Absolutely! I will contact you via email as this is not the appropriate place to ‘plug’ our business. Look for my email.

  • http://upevoo.com Michael Bradley

    Sharing factual information concerning olive oil and other consumable food products with less informed consumers and professionals always pays dividends. The extent and depth of the benefit depends on many little understood variables. An accurate, nuanced understanding of what constitutes good, or “high quality olive oil”, would undoubtedly benefit all segments of the world market. Farmers, mills, manufacturers, restaurants, and individual consumers would be winners. The misconceptions and ignorance that persist in this particular food are especially astounding considering the five-thousand plus year history of olive oil. Sensory contests like the newly established NYIOOC can be helpful to consumers in a very broad sense, (there are many established olive oil sensory contests, as well as new ones popping up all over the world, and at least one other older international contest in the US at the Los Angeles County Fair), but can be dangerous and potentially misleading in other ways. Raising awareness that EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil is NOT simply another commodity fat like other refined fats such as, refined OLIVE, soybean, corn, sun, palm, canola, safflower, and cottonseed is important and useful. These are the refined vegetable fats that overwhelmingly dominate edible fat consumption and production worldwide. These refined fats have no flavor or antioxidants whatsoever because they have been refined usually via the chemical solvent Hexane. Sensory evaluation alone is an essential, but insufficient tool that should be in every consumer’s tool box for judging the “quality” of extra virgin olive oil before they use it. But if they do not have the experience and understanding to know the difference between a defect and an attribute they are helpless, and if they do know, but can’t taste before they purchase, they are equally helpless. After all, many new olive oil consumers, especially in the US, are consuming for health and nutrition reasons. Assuming companies who win prizes in these kinds of contests are selling the same high quality olive oil under the same brand name awarded and recognized in the contest is a risky proposition at best. There are some notable exceptions like, Oro Bailen, Melgarejo, Castillo de Canena, Alonso, McAvoy, OlioEstepa, (under their ‘select’ brand), Laudamio, and Cobram (under the Ultra Premium black label) and to be sure there are others. But these are rarely found even in gourmet markets in the US. Sporting an award from this or any other contest is no guarantee that the oil being marketed under the same name and label will be the same or equal quality oil that won the award. Many companies who enter these international contests produce, “contest oils” that are handled separately, in very small quantities for the sole purpose of “winning attribution” that will be incorrectly applied and leveraged to the river of oil they actually produce that is lower quality and not nearly as ‘fine’ as the award winning oil. Chemistry analysis, especially when the newest chemical markers are included, (DAG score, PPP and phenolic measurement) in conjunction with the international chemical standards, coupled with the all important HARVEST DATE, AND legitimate sensory evaluation are far more reliable tools that can be checked, monitored, and should be required information printed on every olive oil label. Unfortunately, very few olive oil brands include this information on their labels or at the point of sale. Attempts to include or require the necessary information for consumers to make an intelligent choice are consistently and routinely opposed by nearly all segments of the olive oil producing, bottling, trading industry, as well as the trade organizations, and governments that represent the various factions.