Kagawa prefecture products

Olive oil

Olive oil photo

Olive oil is said to be the “queen of vegetable oils”. Its delicious taste is distinguished by its fruity, yet slightly bitter spiciness. Whether it is used as a compliment to a meal, or at times the main dish, olive oil brings a luxurious flavor to your table.

Seasonal season
Time to go around Peak season (seasonal season)
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Main production area
Shodoshima / Kokubunji
  • Olives from Kagawa

    Commercial cultivation of olives in Japan began in 1908 in an effort to domestically produce the olive oil needed for oil-pickled products, such as sardines. The first olive saplings were planted in the three prefectures of Mie, Kagoshima and Kagawa. As these saplings were imported from other countries, most failed to take root and eventually died. The only saplings that survived were those planted on Shodoshima Island, which is known for its Mediterranean-like climate. Since then, Shodoshima has become famous as the birthplace of olive cultivation in Japan. However, even after olives were introduced to Shodoshima, farmers faced numerous difficulties. They were not familiar with how to raise olives, or how to process the fruit they had worked so hard to harvest. Thanks to the continuous efforts and research of many pioneers in the field, olive cultivation survived over the generations, and gradually spread across the island. At long last, Shodoshima became known as “Olive Island”. Currently, the olive has been designated as both the prefectural flower and tree of Kagawa, and the cultivation and processing of olives has spread to all regions of the prefecture.

  • Luxurious olive oil unique to Kagawa Prefecture

    There are so many uses for olive oil. It is often used as a base for dressings, or as an oil for sauteing or deep-frying. Also, flavorful oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, can be used in a wide variety of ways, or simply enjoyed with a little bread for dipping. There is an increasing number of restaurants, hotels and guest houses on Shodoshima where you can enjoy cuisine that combines the flavor of olive oil with locally raised pork, or fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, such as sea bream, yellowtail, octopus and shrimp. With the luxurious taste of olive oil, you can enjoy the unique flavors of Shodoshima and Kagawa. People have been experimenting with ways to use olive oil in Japanese cooking as well. Surprising collaborations, such as sauces flavored with olive oil and <i>moromi</i>(unrefined soy sauce) produced on Shodoshima, have delighted many visitors to the island. Although it was believed that Japanese olives and olive oil could never compare with high-grade olive products from Europe, in recent years, Kagawa olive oil has won numerous awards from internationally recognized competitions, and has been praised all over the world for its quality, flavor and aroma.

  • Olive oil is delicious, and good for you too!

    While vegetable oils made from soybeans, corn, rapeseed and sesame seed are produced by pressing the seed of the plant, olive oil is produced by pressing the fruit. Furthermore, only olive oil can be used raw, immediately after pressing. As a result, olive oil contains the natural active ingredients found in olive fruit. In other words, olive oil is different from other vegetable oils not only in its method of production, but also in the composition of the oil itself. Olive oil is unique in that it contains more oleic acid than any other vegetable oil. On the other hand, it contains very little linoleic acid, resulting in what is said to be an ideal composition of fatty acids. Additionally, virgin olive oil contains many micronutrients, which not only contribute to its color, flavor and aroma, but also play an important physiological and chemical role. Since long ago, olive oil has been used on the Mediterranean coast as the “secret to youth and longevity”, but now the benefits of its chemical composition have been scientifically proven, and olive oil has been utilized to promote good health.

  • Health and beauty

    Extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols, vitamin E and beta-carotene, which are good for health and beauty. It also contains a lot of oleic acid, which is said to be effective in controlling bad cholesterol (LDL).

  • High quality olives you can only find in Kagawa

    With the liberalization of trade, it has become possible to import large quantities of olives from overseas, and cheap olive oil can be easily purchased at the supermarket. However, many health conscious people will only purchase local products they can trust, and Kagawa continues to work hard to provide safe, high quality products that meet consumer expectations. For starters, Kagawa’s method of harvesting olives is different than overseas. Other countries use a machine to sift the fruit, but in Kagawa, olives are carefully selected and hand-picked to prevent oxidation of the fruit as a result of bruising. Also, processing factories are located close to olive groves, reducing the amount of time between harvesting and oil extraction. As a result of these efforts, almost all the oil produced in Kagawa is high quality extra virgin olive oil. In addition, in order to ensure that customers can purchase quality olive oil with confidence, Kagawa has established the prefecture’s own “Kagawa Olive Oil Quality Labeling System”.
    For more information about the “Kagawa Olive Oil Quality Labeling System”, please follow this link.

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