The Cortijo de Suerte Alta Coupage Natural extra virgin olive oil, produced in Cordoba, Spain, has beaten a strong contingent of international foods to be named as one of the Top 50 foods in England at the Great Taste Awards held in the UK.
The oil, which falls under the DOP Baena regulatory council control, was chosen from over 8,800 different specialty foods and beverages from all corners of the world by a panel of 350 judges. The Top 50 products were selected by these judges, who are professional gourmets and tasters, and will appear in an exclusive annual guide.
Judges present at the 2012 awards included well-known faces such as UK Masterchef winner Mat Follas, restaurant critic Charles Campion and food writers Lucas Hollweg and Xanthe Clay, in addition to more than 300 food buyers from leading food halls and delicatessens, such as those of Harrods and Selfridges.
The awards, held by the Guild of Fine Food in the UK, are highly competitive, with various stars awarded to products according to the tasters opinions. Products may be given a one, two, or three gold star award, or the highest honor of all, a place on the top 50 list. To gain the three star rating a product must satisfy at least 25 of the tasters, but to reach the highest level Top 50 list, 50 or more tasters need to approve the product for unique taste.
Cortijo de Suerte
The Cortijo de Suerte oil is the only olive oil to make the top 50 cut this year, amongst a list of the best British and imported food products, ranging from smoked rack of bacon from Ireland to Grecian Thyme Honey. Other olive oils to obtain gold stars included Spanish Artisan Delicatessen Ultracomidas’ Prado de Rey extra virgin and Beneolivas’ Señorio de Jaime Rosell extra virgin oil.
Cortijo de Suerte Alta is an organic extra virgin oil, produced from a blend of Picudo, Hojiblanco and Picual olives at a traditional family-run estate in Southern Spain. Established in 1924, the estate comprises of 255 hectare of olive groves, with a yield of around 250,000 Kg of oil per annum.
In April, the Spanish Association of Municipalities of the Olive Tree (AEMO) recognized Francisco Bujalance, head of Production for Cortijo de Suerte Alta, as “Best Mill Master” for “his professionalism and care in handling his modern ecological mill.”
The focus of the estate is to carry out the entire process from the tree to bottling of the oil, which has resulted in an exclusive olive oil boasting the titles of estate produced and bottled, organic and D.O. Baena. Aside from the international recognition at the Great Taste Awards, Cortijo de Suerte has won numerous Spanish oil awards including the first prize for the best olive oil mill in Spain in 2007-2008.