As debate revolves around whether or not Maria da Fé is an olive species
unique to Brazil, both traditional mills and technologically advanced
machinery have contributed to the increased quality of olive oil here.
In 2008, Brazilian olive growers extracted their first liters of
olive oil. Almost a decade later, these gourmet EVOO producers are still
working diligently to establish a client base.
Brazil’s olive oil
vanguard took root in two main regions, Serra da Mantiqueira (Minas
Gerais) and the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Olivas do Sul, Batalha de Ouro de Sant’Ana, Oliq, Cardeal, Prosperato,
and other EVOO brands have since emerged, finding success in local and
regional markets for the freshness of their product and knowledge that
buying local not only boasts the economy but, more importantly, reduces
our carbon footprint.
But Brazil’s burgeoning EVOO identity also
hinges on the prospect of its arable land and harnessing its terroir to
produce its very own olive cultivar.
Roughly 70 percent of olives harvested in Brazil are of the Arbequina
variety. The other 30 percent are divided between Frantoio, Grappolo,
Koroneiki, Picual, and a peculiar species, Maria da Fé, which was
planted decades ago in Serra da Mantiqueira.
While the Company of
Farming Research of Minas Gerais (EPAMIG) attests that Maria da Fé is an
olive variety unique to Brazil, some olive growers argue that its
characteristics are too similar to its maternal variety, Portuguese
As debate revolves around whether or not Maria da Fé is Brazil’s own, Marcelo Scofano, a self-proclaimed oliveologist
and professional olive taster said five olives with unique qualities
have emerged from the terroir in the city of Pelotas (Rio Grande do