Thank you to Azeite Vacinata for sending us their Val d’Dama EVOO.
|Cultivar||Galega, Madural, Picual, Cobrançosa|
|Region||Cótimos village – Trancoso – Portugal|
|Extraction Method||Cold extraction – Continuous|
|Tasted on||Sept 2020|
EVOO – Food pairing advice
Val d’Dama is an EVO oil characterized by vegetable aromas – chard, spinach, artichoke and thistle – which distinguish it from its twin-brother Terras Senhorias (read here our review of Terras Senhorias), whose olives are harvested about one month before the ones used to manufacture Val d’Dama EVOO.
Val d’Dama EVOO’s vegetable soul, along with its floral and fruity notes of flavour, makes it perfect to go on vegetable and vegan dishes, and preparations which require a high-quality EVO oil able to add light/medium fruitiness to the dish (e.g. on fresh cheese); moreover, Val d’Dama EVOO is surprisingly good on desserts.
Even the bottle label, with its green background, immediately recalls Val d’Dama EVOO’s vegetable imprint perceived at organoleptic level.
Tasting both Terras Senhoriais EVOO and Val d’Dama EVO oil by Az.Vacinata is a wonderful experience for every extra virgin olive oil enthusiast – it makes us discover the peculiarities of the Portuguese cultivars, and helps us understand how the choices made in respect to the timing of harvesting make an important difference on the final product’s organoleptic characteristics, and subsequently on any food pairing combination choice to be made.
Appearance & Visual Analysis
At the visual analysis, Val d’Dama EVO oil appears of a bright lemon yellow colour, with light lime green highlights clearly visible in the light.
Scents & Olfactory analysis
In the olfactory analysis, Val d’Dama EVO oil expresses a rich bouquet of flavours mainly made of green vegetable scents, along with light aromas of fruit and flowers. Among the many various notes of flavour, we clearly perceive those of fresh beets and spinach, fresh artichoke, thistle, cut grass and olive leaf; everything is further enriched by notes of fresh almond and green walnut, a hint of Mediterranean herbs (i.e. basil and sage) and a delicate scent of orange blossom and yellow apple, to eventually end with a slight hint of pine nuts.
Tasting: Aromas & Flavours
At the taste, vegetable scents harmonize with a pleasant bitterness. Among all, stand out aromas of green tomato, chard, fresh spinach, wild fennel and thistle, together with a light scent of dried fruit, and a hint of almond; these flavours fill the entire palate, and Val d’Dama EVO oil’s final pungency, clearly perceived in the throat, surprise us for its particular intensity.
We love it with…
Learn how to pair EVOO and food on our easy guide: Olive Oil Pairings.
The delicacy and high quality of Val d’Dama EVOO make it particularly suitable to go on fresh cheese, shellfish, vegetables and dessert.
Excellent on dairy products and appetizers made with ricotta, robiola, crescenza and mozzarella cheeses, Val d’Dama EVOO can also be combined with semi-aged cheeses (6- 12 months); try it with Requeijão Serra da Estrela or Requeijão da Beira Baixa Portuguese (requeijão is a traditional ricotta-like Portuguese cheese), French brie and Fromage blanc, and grilled halloumi.
Val d’Dama EVOO also pairs with raw or sautéed vegetables, and soups; we recommend it on fish salads (seafood, shrimp or crab salad) and even just on shellfish.
Val d’Dama by Vacinata is one of those EVO oils which goes with sweets and desserts, a task not for every EVO oil, and if we had to recommend a preparation to pair it to, that would certainly be a cheesecake! Moreover, Val d’Dama EVOO is able to enhance the taste of fruit tiramisù, ricotta-based desserts (e.g. Sicilian cannoli), tarte tatin, apple tarts, panna cotta, and traditional Portuguese Torta de Viana and pastel de feijão.
We chose to have breakfast with Val d’Dama EVOO! Greek-style yogurt, toasted almonds, pears, Etna honey, honey spelt puffs, and of course a dizzle of Val d’Dama EVO oil. It is known that a tablespoon of olive oil in the morning is a valued help to our gastrointestinal system health, why not making it even tastier, too!
“The history of extra virgin olive oil Vacinata starts in the 12th -13th century. Persisting history, we water the lands around Vacinata castle. From our olive groves, olives are harvested then cold pressed in our mill of Cótimos village, descendants of the people living around the castle that existed centuries ago. We grow, maintain and produce a natural and pure olive oil which crossed centuries. At Ramos Lagar, Lda, you can produce your olive oil through hot or cold pressing. Its production line allows both methods without waiting time since its production capacity is six tons every hour. Despite the fact that they produce Vacinata olive oil, the mill allows people to come by and offer its olives for selling, or ask for the transformation of it into olive oil. Different commercial plans are available.”
Largo do Rossio 22
Trancoso – Guarda
Phone Contacts: +33 6 45 86 23 60
Az. Vacinata website
Terroir & Region
The district of Guarda is a North-East Portuguese region included in the Azeites da Beira PDO olive production area; it is one of the Portuguese regions which, over time, have been able to express olive oils of high quality which end up being exported to other European and foreign markets. Like in many other regions of the Mediterranean, in Guarda olive oil has had and still has an important economic, social and historical value, as well as gastronomic notoriousness, of course.
Cultivar / Olive variety
Galega & Cobrançosa
Cobrançosa is the most common Portuguese cultivar in the continental and northern areas of the country, in the Trás-os-Montes region (Alto Douro); it is very resistant to cold temperatures but suffers from heat and drought. Cobrançosa is characterized by a high yield in olive oil production, and can be used for mechanized harvesting as its fruits can be easily detached from the plant.
Galega is one of the most ancient and representative cultivars of Portugal, very appreciated for its resistance to droughts, but not as used anymore in more modern olive cultivation due to its unsuitability to mechanized harvesting. Galega is also excellent as a table olive, in its black and dry version; it is cultivated especially in the northern area of the country, but it can also be found in the southern regions of central Portugal.