Olive Oil & Table Olives
TODAY IT IS BELIEVED THAT OLIVE OIL IS THE SECRET OF THE CRETAN DIET AND THE CRETAN LONGEVITY
Instead of butter try in your breakfast… wholemeal bread or dried bread soaked in Cretan virgin olive oil! You can fragnance it by adding a herb or a combination of your favourite herbs. It will be the best, the healthiest and the most delicious breakfast.
American dietitians who arrived in Crete in the late ’50s to study the phenomeno of the Cretans’ longevity, where amazed at what they saw! “Oh dear! They eat so much oil”, explained the internationally famous doctor and pioneer in nutrition matters Ancel Keys, as he saw the green salad literally swimming in olive oil. In fact, ο Keys repeated what almost all the travellers that were interested in the everyday life of the Cretan people had noted.
Medical studies that were conducted and are still conducted in Europe and America reveal that olive oil not only protects the heart but also helps the function of the intestine and many other organs or acts beneficially in a large number of deseases. It reduces cholesterol, it has antioxidant action and protects from cancers, helps the function of the liver, it is ideal for the nutrition of people suffering from diabetes and much more! The quality of the Cretan olive oil is known all over the world.
Because it is not an industrial product but a natural product produced from the simple pressing of the olive without additives. It is the best, the lightest and the tastiest olive oil in the world. It is produced with care and love and packed, pure and natural, by companies that show their respect to the product and to the consumer.
The olive tree is the basic cultivation throughout Crete. Endless slopes shine under the sun when it casts its light on the silver-green leaves. The best olive oil in the world is produced here. Rich in aroma and taste and low in acidity, it is the basic source of fat of the Cretan diet. The collection of the olives and the pressing of the olives is an activity almost everybody in Crete does. In Chania mainly two kinds of olive tree are grown. The first one is the tree, that produces small olives but in large quantities and the producers beat the tree with canes to throw the olives, which fall on the nets that have been laid on the ground. The trees are trimmed short in the shape of an umbrella. The time of the harvest begins in November and continues until February, depending on the altitude.
If the olives «have become oilyι» they produce more and better oil. In other areas, like in Selino, mainly because of the morphology of the ground, the people grow large olive trees, place nets permanently under them and collect the olives that fall every 15-20 days from the nets. So the harvest often lasts until May or June. The olives are then carried to the oil press where they are pressed to produce the olive oil. These factories operate in various ways. Some make cold compression like in the old times, others operate centrifugally etc. The olive oil that is produced here, unique in nutritional elements and taste, is famous in the whole world.
“Table” olives (edible olives) that are produced in the area are also of excellent quality. There are various sorts of edible olives, salted, black, green, cracked, in vinegar or lemon juice, all ideal for accompanying any dish with the scent of Crete. They are often an ingredient in dishes, like cuttlefish with fennel or sautéed greens. They also accompany a glass of wine or tsikoudia.