` New York International Olive Oil Competition Announces Best Olive Oils in the World

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New York International Olive Oil Competition Announces Best Olive Oils in the World

Apr. 16, 2015
By Hannah Howard

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It was the moment hun­dreds of olive oil pro­duc­ers from around the world had been wait­ing for. In front of an excited crowd at the Inter­na­tional Culi­nary Cen­ter in New York City at 6:00 PM tonight, Cur­tis Cord, pres­i­dent of the New York Inter­na­tional Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion (NYIOOC), announced the best olive oils in the world for 2015.

This week, olive oil pro­duc­ers, mar­keters, food indus­try pro­fes­sion­als and press gath­ered in SoHo for the third annual NYIOOC Con­fer­ence. They were joined by view­ers world­wide tun­ing into the live-streamed broad­cast.
See more: The Com­plete Results of the 2015 New York Inter­na­tional Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion
Despite one of the rough­est har­vest sea­sons in recent mem­ory in many regions, espe­cially in south­ern Italy, 671 olive oils vied for the cov­eted Gold, Sil­ver and Best in Class awards, and to be among the best olive oils in the world, as the win­ners of the yearly con­test are known.

Full results are avail­able on the offi­cial web­site, bestoliveoils.com. The site details each win­ning oil’s unique fea­tures, judges’ tast­ing notes and links to pro­duc­ers’ web­sites and points of sale.

The NYIOOC draws the most renowned judges — top expert tasters from nine coun­tries. The 2015 panel was lead by Dr. Giuseppe Di Lecce, Food Chem­istry Depart­ment, Eurofins Chem­i­cal Con­trol; Eleft­he­ria Ger­manaki, panel super­vi­sor, Greek Accred­i­ta­tion Author­ity, and Dr. Brígida Jímenez Her­rera, direc­tor, IFAPA de Cabra.

The pro­fes­sional tasters spent three days metic­u­lously scru­ti­niz­ing each entry, one by one. They under­stand the need to rec­og­nize excel­lence for us all,” said NYIOOC pres­i­dent Cur­tis Cord. These are the best judges in the world. They are com­pletely com­mit­ted to this impor­tant task.”


Cord explained the dif­fi­culty of win­ning with a base­ball anal­ogy: Most peo­ple in this town will tell you the Yan­kees are the best team in the world. And it was true, in 2009. But in 2014 they were not the best, the San Fran­cisco Giants were. This year, they’ll try again. Like base­ball, you can’t rest on your lau­rels. Each year is a new sea­son with a new set of chal­lenges.”

Every har­vest, olive oil pro­duc­ers face cli­mate change, fluc­tu­a­tions of their olive trees, and count­less steps along the way where plenty can go wrong,” Cord added. When things do go wrong, we have 15 of the most highly trained experts in the world to detect that.”

That’s why this com­pe­ti­tion is an annual event — and the result­ing list of win­ners rep­re­sent the best olive oils for 2015 — not last year’s, not next year’s.”

Of the NYIOOC olive oil con­tenders, 49 per­cent were found to exhibit defects. The sub­mis­sions from Italy were down by about one third this year due to a sea­son of unprece­dented envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges; entries were up from most other coun­tries.

In total, the judges named 251 award-win­ning olive oils. Spain’s oils won the most prizes, fol­lowed by those from Italy, USA, Greece and Por­tu­gal. Spain achieved awards with 54 per­cent of their entries, Italy with 43 per­cent, the USA with 41 per­cent and Greece with 21 per­cent.

Cord pre­sented tro­phies to sev­eral olive oil pro­duc­ers in atten­dance, includ­ing Albea Blanca from Spain, a new com­pany just eight months old. Albea Blanca sub­mit­ted four oils, and won three Gold and one Sil­ver Award. There were tears of joy.

The Aus­tralian pro­ducer, Bound­ary Bend, took home the high­est-ever num­ber of awards with nine, includ­ing two Best in Class, for its Cobram Estate oils pro­duced in Aus­tralia and the United States — an achieve­ment Cord called sim­ply astound­ing.”

Many con­sumers are deeply con­fused about olive oil. They want to know where to find prod­uct they can trust to deliver the qual­ity they pay for. The list of NYIOOC win­ners pro­vides a reli­able resource for retail­ers, dis­trib­u­tors, chefs and con­sumers look­ing for high qual­ity olive oils.

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