Wins SOFI Gold Award for Best Oil at Summer Fancy Food Show

New York, NY. July 6, 2015Castillo de Canena Smoked Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil was awarded the Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation (SOFI) Gold Award by the Specialty Food Association at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York on June 29, 2015. The oil beat out hundreds of competitors from around the world to be named best in the oils category.

In this year’s SOFI awards competition there were 2737 products entered, which were then narrowed down to 125 finalists in 32 award categories. Products were judged on quality, innovation, ingredient profile, packaging and pricing. Judges are professionals in the specialty food industry and include retailers, chefs, journalists, and culinary educators.

Rosa Vañó, co-owner of Spanish company Castillo de Canena comments, “What an honor to be given this prestigious award. The smoked oil is a very special product, and the result of tireless experimentation on how to create a natural cold-smoked oil with an outstanding flavor profile. We are always innovating and finding new ways for people to enjoy high-quality olive oils.”

Their smoked extra virgin olive oil is made from Spanish arbequina olives and is slowly cold-smoked for six hours using organic oak, beech and birch wood in a customized smoker built exclusively for Castillo de Canena. The resulting oil’s flavors include notes of apple and almond, and a touch of caramel, vanilla and toffee. It may be enjoyed drizzled over meat, fish, pastas and pizza, and is also a unique addition to desserts. Its striking blue bottle packaging stands out on retail shelves and makes a perfect gift.

This recognition coincides with Castillo de Canena’s success in the latest edition of the prestigious Flos Olei guide to olive oils that recently rated Castillo de Canena Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil—for the second consecutive year—as one of the best in the world, with a score of 98 points, placing them amongst the world’s top twenty.

Castillo de Canena’s olive oils are imported to the U.S. by The Culinary Collective, an importer of gourmet Spanish foods based in Lynnwood, WA.

Castillo de Canena

Castillo de Canena is a family-owned company based in Andalucía, Spain that produces a full line of award winning and sustainably produced extra virgin olive oils that are available in over 40 countries. The Vañó family has an olive cultivating history that began in 1780, and the company takes its name from the family-owned castle that crowns the hillside of Canena Township in Jaén province, Andalucía. The company’s commitment to sustainability is evidenced by their use of solar power, recycled biomass for fuel and the employment of biodynamic farming methods. They are also a member of Grandes Pagos del Olivar, an association uniting the best Spanish extra virgin olive oil producers who choose to produce limited quantities of extremely high quality oils using artisanal methods combined with cutting-edge technologies. More information at

Culinary Collective

Based in Lynnwood, Washington, Culinary Collective is an import and distribution company specializing in gourmet cultural foods that embody and promote native cultures and traditions. The company works with small family and community companies that take pride in producing all-natural foods using methods and recipes passed down through the generations. Under its Matiz España label, Culinary Collective imports and distributes an extensive line of traditional products from Spain. Under its Zócalo Gourmet brand, the Collective supports small-scale producers of all-natural cultural foods in Peru by bringing quality products such as grains, flours, beans and chili pastes direct from the producers to US and Canadian retailers and consumers. Culinary Collective is proud to be a Certified B Corporation. In September of 2013, Culinary Collective celebrated its 15-year anniversary. More information at