Homer referred to it as ‘Liquid Gold’. Hippocrates used it as medication for most ailments. Ancient Greeks used it not only on their food, but also as a beauty product for hair, skin and even clothes.
We say no Greek food is actually Greek, if made with lesser quality oil than Greek olive oil. That’s why we cook and serve our food with the best olive oil from Crete.
To start naming Greek olive oil benefits would take up so many pages… we could stress on the latest studies that prove it’s a medicine on its own, able to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Arthritis. We could stress on how amazing it tastes, and how you will find olive trees in every single corner in Greece and how the extracting methods have changed very little since ancient times, still producing the pure product we know and use today.
Instead we will focus on our Cretan olive oil. The oil that has been awarded on numerous occasions and is considered to be amongst the top quality and flavour oils in the world.
According to researchers, olive growing in Crete started in Minoan times. The Minoans were the first large civilisation on European grounds, 3,500 years ago. From that time up till today, olive tree harvesting has been going on continuously with every Cretan family taking care of the olive trees handed down to them from their fathers and grandfathers, producing their own oil. In fewer words, olive oil is not just an element of the Cretan diet. It’s a building element of Cretan culture. The olive tree is considered sacred. ¼ of Cretan land is covered in olive trees.
Ask any Cretan and you will see their life is strongly connected to the olive tree life cycle. Cretan olive oil is exported all over the world, and most Cretan families have oil production as a main income. Cretans use olive oil raw on salads or bread, to cook and fry, they consume it with every single meal -breakfast, lunch or dinner – and they use it for beauty as well as therapeutic cause, to nourish and hydrate.
So, it is fair to say that whilst most regions of Greece produce excellent olive oil, Crete ‘lives and breathes’ olive oil. We could not help but bring this excellent oil for all of our food to be cooked with.
You can definitely taste it in our food and you will find a bottle of it on each and every one of our tables. When eating with us, add it to your Greek salad, fava, houmous, lentil and beetroot salad and you will have a 100% Greek experience. At home, substitute butter and all other oils and use it to bake cakes, fry anything – olive oil is actually not altered by higher temperatures -make pot roasts and so much more.
When buying olive oil make sure it is labelled ‘extra virgin’ and know that the more ‘bitter’ and peppery it tastes, the better! Ancient Greeks first recorded these flavour traits in olive oil and they suggested to pair it with wine to produce a highly therapeutic product. Today we know that the distinctive bitterness and peppery flavour means more beneficial ingredients, and that pairing it with balsamic vinegar brings on even more health benefits.
Back to the oil we use, our Latzimas oil is produced in North Mylopotamos in Rethymno, Crete. Latzimas is a family company that only produces cold pressed olive oil and has as its moto: ‘Olive oil from its homeland!’ The soil and microclimate of the area their olive trees grow, produce an excellently flavoured extra virgin olive oil that has been awarded in multiple occasions. It is produced from the highest quality olives, the ‘Koroneiki’ variety crop. Its pure green colour, rich aroma and mellow taste make it ideal for use in our menu.
We can honestly say we cannot live without good olive oil, and through our food we want you to taste the true Greek flavour created.