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Greece is among the three largest producers of extra virgin olive oil in the world. Thanks to the biodiversity of the Greek land the quality of the greek extra virgin olive oil is very high!
In Greece there are several varieties of olives and according to the olive experts there are six different pure olive varieties: Kalamon, Chalkidiki, Konservolia, Koroneiki, Ladolia, Thasitiki. Each geographic area thanks to its micro-climate has its own variety of olives.
So for example, the variety Chalkidiki (also known by the name of Halkidiki) comes from the peninsula of Chalkidiki in the region of Central Macedonia in the Northern Greece. While the variety Kalamon (also called Kalamata), considered the best to consume during meals, comes from the county of Kalamata in the Peloponnese.
However when it comes to extra virgin olive oil production, the queen of all olives is the variety Koroneiki from the county of Messinia in the western Peloponnese, a region that produces more than 60% of all the extra virgin olive oil in Greece. This variety is present in Greece for over 3,000 years and it gives a rather small but very productive fruit. Recent studies have shown that Koroneiki quality has a higher concentration of polyphenols antioxidants.
The premium olive oil is recognizable thanks to its aroma and taste. You can pour a small quantity of olive oil in a glass and then cover it. Stir the oil slowly so that it gives off the aroma, close your eyes and breathe in the intense perfume. The aromas that indicate a good quality olive oil may have different inflections: green grass, almond, lemon, orange, or even herbs like chamomile and basil. Sip a little oil, turn it over in the mouth and you will recognize every particular inflection in his taste. You may sometimes meet fruity elements, a bitter and / or pungent taste.
Pamper yourself with this product that boasts a millenary history!
Olive tree cultivation has been reported in ancient Greece since the Bronze Age, finding an ideal environment, dry in summer and mild in winter.
For ancient Greeks the olives represented the main source of fat in their daily diet replacing animal fats largely used by barbarians and therefore considered harmful and immoral.
Huge stone presses and tanks of clay were used for the production of an excellent quality olive oil, not so different from the extra virgin olive oil produced today.
The freshly gathered olives were immersed in hot water and then pressed. This mixture of water and oil was then poured into the clay tanks and left to rest until the oil was gradually separated by the water and gathered on the surface. The excess water was then discharged through a drainage spout and the extra virgin olive oil was collected in a pithos, which is a large storage container.
The olive tree is indissolublly connected to the Greek mythology. Olive oil and olives are still present in many aspects of everyday life and are connected to the diet, the religion or used as a decorative motif.
According to the Greek mythology, the ancient and sacred wild olive tree of Olympia stood near the Temple of Zeus. The wild olive (in ancient Greek kotinos) was used to fashion the olive wreath awarded victors at the ancient Olympic games.
The olive tree was considered a symbol of peace and wisdom, and it was the sacred tree of the ancient city of Athens. According to the Greek mythology, both Athena and Poseidon requested to be patrons of the city and to give their name to it, so they competed with one another for the honour, offering the city one gift each. Poseidon produced a spring by striking the ground with his trident, symbolizing naval power. Athena created the olive tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity.
People chose the gift of Athena and the city took its name.
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