Why Greek olive oil

Why greek olive oil

Olive oil and olives have always been an integral part of life, nutrition and economy in Greece. Excavations in Methana, Peloponnese, brought to light an ancient olive mill, whose existence dates back to 4.000 BC.

Greece is the third olive oil producing country in the world, but ranks first in the extra virgin olive oil production. The percentage of the extra virgin olive oil is the 80% of the total Greek olive oil production, a far higher percentage than in any other olive oil producing Mediterranean country. The respective rate in Italy is 50% and in Spain 20%.

The key characteristics of an extra virgin olive oil which are its taste, flavour and colour, are influenced by many factors, each of which separately and all together compose and define its quality.

These factors are:

The variety of olives

– Koroneiki (Peloponnese, Crete)
– Lianolia (Peloponnese, Ionian islands, coasts of Ipeiros)
– Mastoid (Peloponnese, Crete)
– Megaritiki (Attica, Boeotia, Kinouria)
– Valanolia (Lesvos, Chios)
– Manaki (Delphi, Amfissa, Trizinia, Kinouria)
– Hondrolia (Aegean islands, Attica, Evia, Crete)

The geographical location of the cultivation

The applied fertilization methods

The climatic conditions

The degree of the olives maturity

The method of harvesting

The storage of the olives and its duration

The technology of the oil extraction and the process temperatures

The storage conditions of the final product

The hygiene and cleanliness at all stages

In Greece, mainly due to the ground morphology and climate, all the above factors contribute to produce olive oil of superior quality. The overwhelming majority of olive groves are in mountainous and hilly areas, near the sea, with lots of sunshine. In addittion, they belong to small farmers who take care of their trees with special attention, hand pick their own olives, deliver the olives directly to the mill and attend personally the process until the last bag of their crop, in the same way they have been taught by their parents. In other words, the traditional methods that were always applied for the olive oil production in Greece, due to the particular local conditions, have been proved by scientific research to be the best for optimum quality results.

The quality and variety of taste and flavour of Greek olive oil is widely known. For these reasons, large quantities of Greek olive oil are exported to well-known bottling companies, in order to improve qualities of other countries.