Spotlight: SAOV Portugal Picual EVOO


At Evoolution, we receive extra virgin olive oils from the Northern Hemisphere in the Spring and Summer, and Portuguese varietals are always gracing our shelves. Our 2023 fall crush Portuguese picual from the renowned Sociedade Agricola Ouro Vegetal (SAOV) grove is the first picual we have ever received from Portugal. This beautiful medium intensity EVOO displays notes of both tomato and tomato leaf while exhibiting savoury herb and stone fruit flavours. It is very nicely balanced with high fruitiness, complimentary bitterness, and a lingering pepper finish. 

Since SAOV was founded in 2004 they have won a multitude of awards for their superior extra virgin olive oils. Most recently, their picual, galega, cobrançosa, and cornicabra all won medals at the 2024 New York International Olive Oil Competition! SAOV aims to combine traditional practices and modern technology with the goal of producing high-quality EVOO in higher volumes than traditionally produced.  They are revolutionizing the EVOO production process with the help of their master miller, Alberto Serralha. SAOV have been able to increase quality and yield in the extraction process with the use of new vacuum technology during the mixing phase of extraction. By removing the oxygen during this crucial stage, they are able to increase the biophenol count, specifically the biophenol oleacein, which is associated with lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Picual olives are among the most common varieties planted in the world, due to the large, fleshy fruit borne by the tree, and the large concentration of oil in said fruit. Picual olive oils tend to have well balanced flavour profiles with distinct tomato leaf notes that pair beautifully with the staple flavours in Mediterranean cooking.

Fresh, bright green olive oil coming directly out of a stainless steel container

We like to use medium varietals - like this Portuguese picual - in recipes where they won’t be lost amidst the other flavours, and where the oil itself won’t overwhelm a delicate dish. This oil is perfect with tomato and strong cheeses, for example, as the flavours work together so well and neither overpowers the other. It also makes a superb finishing oil on pastas and risottos. Even a small drizzle on a dessert boosts the flavour and complexity of the dish. 

The exemplary chemistry profile of this oil showcases the care taken in every step from growing to harvesting to crushing the olives. Its low free fatty acid percentage shows minimal breakdown due to oxidation, and it means you can use this oil to fry without it smoking. The high biophenol percentage, which contributes to its bitter and peppery notes, means the oil is full of antioxidants and healthy secondary compounds. In other words, this extra virgin olive oil really does tick all the boxes!


  • Evoolution

    Hi @Angie, thanks for your question! It is a common misconception that EVOO is unfit to fry with. Our extra virgin olive oils have incredibly low free fatty acid values, and these low values contribute to higher smoke points when frying. So you certainly can fry with EVOO from a safety standpoint, in addition to all the great health benefits you get from the oil such as heart-healthy fats and antioxidants!

  • Angie

    I am curious about the part when you mention that we can fry with this olive oil. I always heard that olive oils are not good for cooking. How come this oil is ok to cook with?

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