Why should I choose Greek extra virgin olive oil?
Types of olive oil quality:
The qualitative classification of extra virgin and of virgin olive oil is based on international specifications of the chemical and organoleptic characteristics of the product.
- The chemical characteristics refer to the acidity, the hyper acidity, the wax, the oxidation indicators etc. of the olive oil.
Such chemical characteristics are analyzed in a laboratory with the use of suitable equipment and specific methods.
- The organoleptic characteristics refer to the aroma, the flavor and the color of the product. The organoleptic characteristics are examined and evaluated by specially trained tasters on specific criteria and procedures and the decisive criterion for the quality of the olive oil.
Based on the examination of the chemical and organoleptic characteristics, virgin olive oil is sorted into two categories:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and
- Virgin Olive Oil
In the case of Greek olive oil, over 80% of its production consists of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, excellent chemical characteristics and exceptional ratings from the specialists in whatever concerns its organoleptic characteristics.
Factors that influence the quality of Greek Olive Oil
Surely the question that everybody would like to raise at this point is “what is the reason that Greek virgin olive oil stands out for its quality, its aroma, its flavor, its color?”. The answer derives from a simple referral to the factors that influence the quality of olive oil.
Assortment of olive trees
Greece has a variety of unique olive trees, such as the Koroneiki, that do not exist in other oil producing countries. This particular variety, which gives olive oil of exceptional quality, is harvested in the well-known regions of Greece, such as Crete, the Peloponnese, Zakynthos, etc.
Climatic conditions – Soil
The chemical synthesis of the soil, as well as the climatic conditions, comprise vital factors for the organoleptic characteristics of the olive oil. The rocky and arid soil of Greece together with its ideal climatic conditions for olive oil (mild temperate climate, a lot of sunlight, and temperatures without great fluctuations), contribute to the production of excellent quality olive oil.
Harvesting and prompt cold pressing of the olive fruit
The basic characteristic of olive cultivation in Greece is the small family plot, which means that there is a special relationship with the olive tree that in the end is expressed in the production of olive oil of excellent quality. The olive tree provides occupation and income for more than 500,000 Greek families all over the country. This means that respect, special care and attention are paid to the olive tree.
To this end the gathering of the olive fruit is done the minute the fruit is at the suitable stage of ripening in order to give the best quality of olive oil. The gathering is done with special care, in most cases by hand (in spite of the fact that this way is laborious, time-consuming and consequently more costly) so that the fruit is not damaged, thus securing that the quality of the olive oil is not affected,.
The transportation of the olive fruit to the olive mill and its cold pressing for the production of olive oil is typically carried out in a very short time after harvesting, a fact that secures an excellent, high quality, product.
These facts (i.e. prompt and careful harvesting, fast transport to the mill, immediate cold pressing at the mill) are pivotal factors securing the high quality of Greek Olive Oils.
Cold Pressing of the olive fruit
Greece has an over 2.000 year experience in producing olive oil. At this point one should always remember that olive oil was since ancient times (and rightfully so, as modern medical research reveals ….) considered a medicine while the olive tree, a sacred tree.
Such long experience is today embedded in the over 2.000 mills that exist in Greece, the owners of which pass their knowledge from generation to generation. One such example is Olympian Green, a company that operates since 1846.
In addition, a number of Greek mills incorporate state of the art mill technology while, during their operations, the long experience accumulated through the ages is applied so as to secure exceptional products.
Storage – standardization of the olive oil
Following the milling process, Greek modern facilities have focused on proper storage and packaging of olive oils whereby, it should be strongly noted that such facilities are is in a position to satisfy every demand regarding safety, hygiene, packaging and appearance of the olive oil that the global market of the product necessitates.
For all of the reasons mentioned above, the choice of Greek oils assures exceptional quality, high nutritional values, and distinct consumer satisfaction at an affordable price. What else would one ask and why should one choose differently?