The Manzanilla, which translates to “little apple,” takes its name from its round shape and is favored as a table olive for its high flesh to pit ratio and pleasant flavor. Having a high oil content, Manzanilla are commonly cultivated for olive oil production as well. Typical of the Spanish region of Seville in Andalusia, the olives are harvested in September then rinsed with lye in a conventional curing process at Losada. While popular as a table olive, the delicate flavor of the Manzanilla makes for an excellent martini garnish as well.
For 60 years, Aceitunas Losada have produced table olives in Andalusia, Spain in the Guadalquivir Valley outside the town of Carmona. Controlling the entire process from hand harvesting their own groves to curing and packaging in their own facility, Maria and Luis Losada have overseen the transformation of a commercial olive operation to an innovative and artisanal practice in its second generation of family farming. Although working in a facility with modern infrastructure for processing, Aceitunas Losada maintain traditional practices by cultivating heirloom olive varieties, curing with natural methods which take 12 months to complete, and pruning their groves manually by the desvareto method specific to each tree in contrast to the mechanical methods applied in high density olive farming. The trimmings are used as a natural fertilizer to be tilled back into the soil which along with the biodiverse use of cover crops prevent the need for chemical fertilizers and strengthen the soil against erosion which commonly affects industrial olive groves. Additionally, these ecological methods allow wildlife to thrive on the farm. The Losada family understand that in order to progress it is necessary in some aspects to go back in time.