Food & Beverage

Jun 1, 2015

Olive gold

Olive oil is a part of mankind for an incredibly long time. Evidence of olive oil was found from 8000 years ago, and crushed olives dating back 6500 years had previously been discovered. Its use was widely spread along the Mediterranean basin, and it soon became a part of daily life in Greece.

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Today, olive oil can be found literally everywhere, but Greek olive oil is one of the best in the world. Because of its millennium-long tradition, there's a singular dedication to this product, Greece being the third biggest producers of olive oil in the world.

Olives go through a long process to generate the oil. After collection of the fruit comes the cleaning. Every twig, leaf, branch, stone or any other kind of debris is removed through various processes. The olives are washed with water, in order to cleanse them of pesticides, dust and other impurities that may compromise the quality. Then, there's a grinding process, crushing the olives into a paste, for them to release the oil more easily. They can be crushed in several ways like stone mills or metal tooth grinders. After this, the paste is mixed for a period of time, not too long, so as not to oxidize, for the oil to gather into big droplets. This paste may be heated, or mixed with water in order to facilitate this process, but it generally means lower quality. Afterwards comes the separation of the oil from other components existing in the mix, generally through centrifugation. The oil goes through yet another centrifuge, to separate it from any remaining impurities. It is then put in tanks or barrels, and gravity takes care of any dirt or solids through sedimentation. This process is called racking. 

This is the basic process for a good quality olive oil, always depending on the care in each step, and of course on the variety of the olives, their growth, the land they come from, and the flora that surrounds the trees. If there are do additives, it can be called Virgin olive oil. This kind of oil is divided into several classifications: Extra virgin olive oil is the virgin olive oil with an acidity of no more than 0.8 g per 100 grams; virgin olive oil, with an acidity of no more than 2 g per 100 grams, and ordinary virgin olive oil with an acidity of no more than 3, 3 grams per 100 grams. These classifications are attributed along with other specifications of olive oil tasting. Besides virgin olive oil, there is also refined olive oil consisted of refined virgin olive oils with no alterations in the initial glyceridic structure and olive oil which is the oil consisting of a blend of virgin olive oil fit for consumption as it is (normally ordinary virgin olive oil) and refined olive oil.

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In the land of Lesvos, Greece, there is a brand dedicated to truly sustainable and good quality olive oil. Starting during World War II, a man named Ioannis Kamatsos would evade the soldiers through the Aegean Sea, carrying the olive oil he produced in his boat, to trade it for food and other supplies, providing for his family, and saving them, and himself from starvation during this period. After he died, his son went away from the country to study medicine, only to return later to his homeland to continue his father's legacy, this time with organic cultivation, and choosing to use sustainable methods, always including the traditional ways passed on by his father. This knowledge is now being passed on to his youngest son, Stratis Kamatsos, who established the brand εvoᶾ. 

εvoᶾ stands for extra virgin organic olive oil. It is an exceptional olive oil, award-winning, that is produced and bottled in the island of Lesvos, Greece, in the Aegean Sea with 40% of its area covered in olive trees. It is a place where the trees can grow strong, thanks to the wonderful sunshine. The oil produced by εvoᶾ comprises three types of olives, the Kolovi (Valanolia), the Adramatini, and the Lathoelia, and the free acidity ranges from 0.4-0.6%, allowing it to be labelled as extra virgin and categorized as exceptional quality. And furthermore, εvoᶾ is an organic extra virgin olive oil. No chemical fertilizers, no chemical pesticides. The result is a truly clean, healthy product, and with an exquisite taste, smooth texture and golden hue.

The brand also came up with a great way of contributing for the environment. The brand allied with the Eden Reforestation Projects and other local organizations in Europe, and provides the plantation of a tree in a deforested area in Africa for each bottle of oil that is purchased!

So with εvoᶾ we are able to actively contribute to the fight against deforestation while acquiring an honestly Greek product, with exceptional characteristics, and savor a smooth tasting, velvety, golden liquid delicacy. 


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