The Olive Table Extra Virgin Olive Oils are mono-varietals produced from Koroneiki olives. Greek olive oil from the Koroneiki olive variety is found throughout Greece but is native to the southwestern region known as Messenia, where it is grown solely to produce oil. Koroneiki olive trees flourish in the warm Mediterranean climate found in Messenia.
In Greece, the Koroneiki is considered ‘the queen of olives’ and is recognized globally as one of the preferred varietals for oil production. The Koroneiki tree has grown there for more than 3,000 years and is a prolific producer. While the olives themselves are very small, they contain very high levels of poly-phenols, the natural antioxidants found in plants that may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Poly-phenols and other antioxidants found in olives can protect the human body against free radical damage.
Olive oil, which has been a staple in Mediterranean diets for thousands of years, contains a wide variety of valuable antioxidants that are not found in other oils. A recent study described in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet, has found that the traditional Mediterranean diet is the dietary model most likely to provide protection against coronary heart disease.
The Koroneiki olive, picked while still green, is highly prized for its aromatic, strongly flavored oil, perfect for enjoying in its natural raw state or added at the end of cooking. Oil from the Koroneiki olive has a complex aroma, often with subtle hints of other herbs and vegetation growing in or near the groves.
The Olive Table’s Extra Virgin Olive Oils have an aroma comprised of dried or fresh green herbs with hints of apple, tomato, dried mint and honey. On the palate, the taste is fruity with hints of dried herbs followed by a slight chicory or radicchio bitterness, and a peppery or ‘radish heat’ and slight nuttiness at the finish. In addition to its rich flavor and vivid color, the oil from this highly prized varietal also boasts low free fatty acids (less than 0.3%) and long shelf life due to the high level of poly-phenols.
Olive oils that are very fresh contain the highest level of poly-phenols. When tasting extra virgin olive oils, looks for those that produce a ‘tickle’ at the back of the throat, or even better, result in a cough or two. The more coughs, the fresher and healthier the oil is!