The nutritional values and its use for medical purposes, were recognized in ancient Greece and rediscovered today by researchers and scientists.
Olive oil had then and has now an exceptional value in every sector in the Greek life. Greece is the major high quality olive oil exporter in the world.
The Greek olive grower has love and respect for the olive tree, which are passing from family to family. Olive cultivation is a family affair. Archaelogical evidence confirms that the olive tree in Greece, was the most loved tree, because of its sacredness, also the economic and therapeutic values of its olive oil.
All olive oils are not the same. The extra virginity and high quality of the olive oil is not measured by its taste or color, but its acidity. The color indicates the maturity of the olives. It should be golden green to dark green. The appropriate storage conditions, keep oil well preserved for about 18 to 24 months.
When bitterness and pungency are present, indicates the presence of antioxidants, which are components of high quality olive oil.
The phrase “packed or bottled in Italy” means nothing. Italy is the biggest importer of olive oil in the world. Most of the imported olive oil in Italy is blended, packed and exported. The origin of the olive oil confirms its quality. The soil and climate, the variety of the olive and cultivation, are also indicators of the quality of the olive oil.
Bottled olive oil with the manufacturers name and address on it, is a must. If the origin is unknown, we should avoid it, because of the possibility of adulteration. Expiration date is also very important and reveals its freshness.
According to the rules of the European Union, edible olive oils should have less the 1% acidity for extra virgin olive oil and less then 2% for virgin olive oil.
The European Union supports the entrance of quality Greek olive oils in the International markets, but does not allow the distribution of bulk olive oil, because it is easy to adulterate and mislabel.
The Greeks should stop exporting bulk extra virgin olive oil, because in the hands of unscrupulous businessman, it looses its identity.
Only branded olive oil can hold on to its identity.