About Greece and Olives
Of all the olive producing countries Greece is renowned for the quality of their olives and along with olive oil it is the countries national product.
When you consider that there are 160,000,000 olive trees in Greece it makes you wonder if there is any room for people to live. Greeks consumes 22 kilos of olive oil per person annually. The next country in line consumes 11 kilos per person annually. This in itself signifies the importance of having a high standard of production as the Greek would not accept anything less. Although Greece is the third biggest producer of olives and olive oil, it is the first in the production of extra virgin olive oil. Up to 80% of the production is extra virgin, which as we know is categorised as the top quality olive oil
Due to the high quality of our olives and olive oil we also export vast amounts of our production to other olive producing countries who in turn sell it on as there own.
The sacred olive tree has spread its roots for centuries deeply into the Greek soil. It has found the ideal land and ecosystem to bear its wonderful fruit and spread its message of life and rebirth, of faith and of hope to the rest of the world.
Varieties of Greek Olives
Known natively as Kalamon this olive is regarded as the king of olives, not only in Greece but globally. It is widely used in salads, bread making, spreads and sauces. Because of its unique flavour it is a very versatile olive that is in great demand.
The Kalamon olive it is almond in shape and has an intense black purple colour. Its flavour is slightly bitter with a meaty texture, and when eaten it should leave no olive meat on the stone. They usually have a split along their side, this is to enable the olive to absorb its marinade, either from the natural brine and red wine vinegar, or from olive oil and herbs.
These olives are exclusively grown in the northern region of Greece known as Halkidiki. They are a predominantly green olive that is oval in shape with a characteristic tip on one end. The olive is usually large in size and is actually known as the fat olive (hondroelia) in Greece. This olive is easier to stone because it is not as ripe as the black olive which is left on the tree for a few months longer to mature.
They are commonly used for stuffing, with garlic, almond and increasingly popular with feta cheese.
Commonly known as throumba this olive is harvested in many areas of Greece but the most famous are grown on the islands of Thassos P.D.O. and Chios P.D.O. These olives are left to ripen on the tree until they begin to wrinkle, soften and eventually lose their bitterness. After this natural maturing, the olive is then cured in course sea salt for preservation. The resulting olive epitomises the main characteristics of the Greek eco-system, the sun, sea and soil.
This olive is mainly used in the preparation of salads and as an accompaniment to drinks.
These are the most widely spread variety of table olives in Greece and represent nearly 75% of the total production. They are mainly grown around the central area of Greece and are produced into various varieties, such as green, black olives that ripen naturally and blond olives that are a reddish white colour. The olive fruit tends to be large and its skin is quite thin and elastic. The meat of the olive is of a light colour and quite juicy with a slight crunchiness.
Common names for these olives are Volou, Amfissis, Arta and Rovion which also have P.D.O. status.