`Spanish Association 'QVExtra!' Holds Second Congress in Toledo - Olive Oil Times

Spanish Association 'QVExtra!' Holds Second Congress in Toledo

Mar. 22, 2016
Alexis Kerner

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Upon open­ing a new bot­tle of extra vir­gin olive oil (EVOO), the aro­mas of fresh cut grass and green almond waft into your nose. It is so intense that you might exclaim: What an Extra Virgin” or, if you are a Spaniard, Qué Virgen Extra.” This is the slo­gan that led to the nam­ing of QvExtra! and sums up the phi­los­o­phy behind the inter­na­tional asso­ci­a­tion.

In order to deliver a prod­uct of excel­lence to con­sumers, QvExtra! has devel­oped the qual­ity called SIQEV (Seal for International of Quality Extra Virgin) that the group says guar­an­tees that the EVOO in the bot­tle com­plies with stan­dards more vig­or­ous than those set by the International Olive Council, and dis­plays a best by date.

More than 50 brands that now carry the seal. Producers of Tunisia, Uruguay, Portugal, Turkey, and Lebanon have become mem­bers of the asso­ci­a­tion. And Israel and France have signed spe­cial agree­ments with QvExtra!.

The grow­ing inter­na­tional sup­port for QvExtra! was evi­dent on March 15th as pro­fes­sion­als from Tunisia, Spain, the United States, Israel, Jordan, Italy, Portugal, Uruguay, Australia, and the UK arrived in Toledo to par­tic­i­pate in the the asso­ci­a­tion’s EVOO II Congress: The Great Discovery.

During the con­gress the pres­i­dent of QvExtra!, Soledad Serrano, and the min­is­ter of CEQ Italy, Maria Grazia Minisci, empha­sized the impor­tance of inter­na­tional part­ner­ship.


To con­firm the part­ner­ship, an agree­ment was signed between QvExtra! and CEQ to ensure both Spanish and Italian EVOOs with the SIQEV seal adhere to the same strict stan­dards for qual­ity con­trol and prod­uct excel­lence.

The line up for the con­gress included pro­fes­sion­als who spoke and led round­table dis­cus­sions on pro­duc­tion, gas­tron­omy, trend­ing mar­kets, and sci­en­tific dis­cov­er­ies. Among the speak­ers were Eryn Balch, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for the North American Olive Oil Association, and Gary Beauchamp, emer­i­tus direc­tor and pres­i­dent at the Monell Chemical Senses Center.

Chefs were also given the spot­light. Tuesday´s lunch was served as a fun yet educa­tive Master Class led by Spanish chef, Alberto Moya Carraffa. Chef Moya Carraffa, owner of El Bogavante de Almirante, stressed the impor­tance of high qual­ity and fresh prod­ucts, the Mediterranean Diet, good wines and, of course, the use of EVOO. In the class, he demon­strated how each plate changed with dif­fer­ent EVOOs.

Each con­gress par­tic­i­pant was pre­sented with the same four tapas pre­pared with three dif­fer­ent olive oils. The class began by tast­ing the three Spanish mono-vari­etals: Arbequina, Hojiblanco, and Cornicabra. Then, in an exer­cise of pair­ing, tapa-by-tapa, par­tic­i­pants tested how each vari­ety affected the fla­vor of gaz­pa­cho, Spanish potato salad, seafood salad, and a sweet jelly candy. The expe­ri­ence had some din­ers chang­ing the way they per­ceived EVOO.

QvExtra! plans to orga­nize EVOO events in the United States and in Japan. The next bian­nual con­gress will most likely take place in the United States, the group said, and will be co-orga­nized by CEQ Italy and QvExtra! International.

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