THE AZAPA VALLEY OLIVE AND IT’S HISTORY
When you taste the olives and oils from Azapa valley, the undeniable quality that has given fame and reputation shows up, with their big size, black, tasty and soft flesh, with lots of pulp and a small stones. This is the reason because they are and will be a delight for the ones that taste them and listed them as unique, overtaking even the Mediterraneans ones from Europe.

With less popularity, olive oil has needed to wait its moment, principally for the low performance of the oil and the high price that the olives reach for their big demand, which makes more profitable to dedicate the total of the olives to the process of fermentation for the production of season olives. In spite, it is important to value its history and what really means to cultivate olive trees in this part of the planet, in order to know that Azapa has been the best place or even one of the most ideal places in the world for this cultivation. Mister Alfredo Wormald Cruz, distinguished historian from Arica had the reason to claim that in the Azapa valley the olive trees used to grow in pile way before the ones in Lima. This species was introduced in southamerican floor 450 years ago, the seeds travelled through stakes brought from olive growers in Sevilla, with the authorization of the Spanish Crown for the production of olive oil that the rich mineral of Potosí demanded in the top of Peru, today’s Bolivia, who strongly mobilized the economy in the geographical triangle Guayaquil – Potosí – Valparaíso.

The olive tree found in Azapa benign weather, always tempered and cool enough for the flowering, high quality water, soft and sweet land and a shiny sun. It knew the millennial agricultural techniques from the locals with more than 3.500 years, with the important application of fertilizers as organic matter, minerals and fossils (fish waste like: fish guts; fresh guano from sea birds; caliche and fossil guano from sea birds). The first olive orchards from Azapa were stocked with water and irrigation trough puqios, the ancestral method that consisted in irrigation containers conducted for irrigation canals, which frequency was given for the amount of existent water in the birth the one that was given in turns (Mita). It is important to highlight the connection of the olive growers inventiveness with the Aymara and Quechua ethnic, the ones who contributed with their work, voices and analogies in the actions of recollection of fruits in the olives orchard, this was identified as a party named “Raima” that comes from the expression Raymi originated from Aymara and Quechua which means “party” or “Kulli” that means purple in both languages. The qualities and characteristics from this unique fruit in the world took to the International Olive Growers’ Board to distinguish it, in their Worldwide Catalogue of Olive Varieties of the year 2000, when “Azapa” was distinguished as a Chilean variety of table olives seasoned in green or black maturity; also known as double purpose. The designation “Azapa” makes reference to the Azapa valley’s name in the province of Arica.