20151023-DSC_6011.jpg
20151021-DSC_5347.jpg
20151111-DSC_8634-7.jpg
Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.43.47 AM.jpg
20151026-DSC_6382-2.jpg
DSC_1070-2.jpg
20151023-DSC_6011.jpg

Sparta, GR


Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sparta, GR

SCROLL DOWN

Sparta, GR


Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sparta, GR

Sparta is the capital of the Laconia region in the southeast Peloponnese, where olives have been cultivated since as far back as 1500 B.C. Laconia has the ideal climate for olive cultivation, with a combination of seaside sun and rich, hilly terrain that supports the olive trees that blanket the landscape. Our olive oil is certified with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), a label used in the EU to designate that a product is unique due to the specific region in which it was produced. The high quality of our oil is due in part to the fact that our olives are grown and processed in this specific region - and the rest is due to the people that do the growing and processing.

20151021-DSC_5347.jpg

The Koroneiki Olive


The Koroneiki Olive

The Koroneiki Olive


The Koroneiki Olive

We get our oil from a mill run by the Polymenakos family, who source organic olives from small-scale farmers around the region. This area’s conditions are perfect for the Koroneiki cultivar, and we make a monovarietal Koroneiki oil because of its exceptional quality, its naturally long shelf life, and the health benefits derived from its high levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, and polyphenols, naturally occurring antioxidants.

Our farmers use traditional methods and operate in line with organic standards, which means that they farm sustainably in order to promote biodiversity and soil and water quality, without the use of synthetic inputs. Between the water efficiency of naturally drought-resistant olive trees and careful monitoring of the trees’ needs, our farmers are also able to minimize their water use.

20151111-DSC_8634-7.jpg

Harvest


Harvest

Harvest


Harvest

The harvest begins in the fall and early winter. As has been the tradition for millennia, farmers harvest the olives by hand to prevent damage to the fruit and bring them immediately to the mill, beginning the extraction process as soon as possible to minimize any loss of polyphenols. After passing through a sorting machine to remove leaves and branches, the olives are crushed into a paste and enter the malaxer, a machine that turns slowly to begin separating the liquids and solids. This process is called cold extraction because the temperature of the olive paste never rises above 80.6℉. This is important because heat can degrade the flavor and nutritional profile of the oil.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.43.47 AM.jpg

The Polymenakos Factory


The Polymenakos Factory

The Polymenakos Factory


The Polymenakos Factory

The next step, the two-phase centrifuge, fully separates the paste into our fresh oil and a mixture of olive solids and water called ‘pomace.’ Dimitris Polymenakos explains that they use a two-phase centrifuge over more common three-phase centrifuges because it separates the pomace and water from the oil in a single step, which means less water and energy are used, more oil is extracted, and the resulting oil contains more polyphenols and has a longer shelf life. Our mill also cooperates with another facility that extracts the liquid from the pomace to produce olive-pomace oil; they then return the dried matter to our mill for use as an alternative heating fuel, making the process even more efficient.

20151026-DSC_6382-2.jpg

Fresh Pressed Juice


Fresh Juice

Fresh Pressed Juice


Fresh Juice

Next, the oil passes through a simple paper filter to remove remaining bits of olive. Filtration extends the shelf life of the oil and lets us get it to you more quickly, rather than waiting for the sediment to settle to the bottom of the tank. The end product is pure extra virgin olive oil - a standard that means the oil can pass a taste test for quality and that it meets strict chemical requirements, like an acidity below 0.8%; ours below 0.3%. Unfortunately, many of the products on store shelves call themselves extra virgin even though they don’t meet the standards.

The fresh oil is then transferred from its stainless steel storage tanks into tinplate cans; both containers ensure the lasting quality of the oil by protecting it from degradation caused by oxidation and UV-rays. Not only is metal better at keeping out light and air than glass and plastic, but it also has a higher recycling rate and is infinitely recyclable.

DSC_1070-2.jpg

Taste Idyll Oil


Taste Idyll Oil

Taste Idyll Oil


Taste Idyll Oil

Our oil, like any high-quality olive oil, has a high smoke point (the point at which oil starts to break down) of over 410℉. This means it is suitable for any kind of cooking, baking, or even frying; Greek cuisine is a testament to the suitability of olive oil in just about anything! We encourage experimenting with our oil as a substitute for butter in a range of applications, because fats are an important and necessary part of a balanced diet - but choosing the right fats is equally important. 

The health benefits of our oil also come from its significant amount of polyphenols, particularly one called oleocanthal. Oleocanthal has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect that has been linked to a reduced risk for inflammatory diseases; it's also the source of the peppery bite that characterizes our oil. To appreciate this peppery effect, the grassy flavor, and fruity aroma, try tasting our olive oil on its own or drizzled over cooked or raw foods.