Thank you to Efkrato for sending us their EVOO.
|Crop Year||2019 – 2020|
|Region||Crete – Greece|
|Harvesting Method||Early harvesting – Manual with electrical facilitators|
|Extraction Method||Continuous, two phases – Cold extraction|
|Certification||Bio – Organic|
|Tasted on||July 2020|
Crete is a magical place in magical Greece, certainly the historical native land of olive oil and today home to one of the world’s largest communities of high quality producers of olive oil. Spread all around the island, there are tens of millions of olive groves, and among them, some trees of the Tsounati variety give life to the organic monocultivar extra virgin olive oil Efkrato. Poised between past and present, with its aromas of olive and olive leaf, Efkrato EVO oil remind us of tradition, while also being a product projected into the future thanks to its modern production techniques: organic cultivation, early harvest, cold extraction and worldwide export, just as the majority of the whole olive oil production industry of Crete. The quality of this EVO oil is also evidenced by its high phenolic value (4 times more than the quantity required for a health claim according to Commission Regulation (EU) 432/2012.)
We paired Efkrato EVO oil with a classic of Mediterranean cuisine, a mixed green salad, but we enriched it with a cosmopolitan and global touch which we wish will allow you to travel far, at least with your taste buds. Do you want to find out more? Read all about Efkrato EVO oil in our review.
Appearance & Visual Analysis
Efkrato EVOO appears of a brilliant yellow lemon colour.
Scents & Olfactory analysis
To the olfactory analysis, Efkrato EVOO has a clear vegetable fingerprint: among all, we can perceive scents of olive, olive leaf, almond, cut grass, celery, hay, medium ripe tomato and a delicate Mediterranean aroma of marjoram.
Tasting: Aromas & Flavours
Efkrato EVOO is gentle on the palate, but still holds a defined character – vegetal hints of flavours tickle the taste buds, mixing green aromas of olive, arugula and almond with sweet tones of celery and lettuce, with a note of sage to close the picture. The aftertaste is characterized by slight pungency which gently ignites the throat, and a mild bitterness.
We love it with…
Learn how to pair EVOO and food on our easy guide: Olive Oil Pairings.
Efkrato EVO oil goes well with vegetables and white meat, in different kinds of preparations: bruschetta, pasta, rice and cereal salads, mixed green salads, soups, grilled turkey and chicken, but also vegan preparations such as burgers or meatballs made of tofu, legumes or vegetables.
For bruschetta, prefer preparations with pickles, tomatoes and cucumbers, or different combinations of vegetables (courgettes, aubergines, guacamole, olives, capers, peppers). Efkrato is also excellent on appetizers made with eggs and tuna. Efkrato EVO oil harmonizes well with the flavor of pasta or cereal salads such as pasta with tuna, corn and cherry tomatoes, and vegetarian pasta; it can also be used for the preparation of pesto with rocket and sun-dried tomatoes, sauces to go on green salads, or to make dip spreads such as guacamole, chickpea hummus or the famous Tzatziki. Efkrato can also be combined with cereal and vegetable soups (e.g. pumpkin, tomato, carrot, bean, lentil and pea soups).
We tried Efkrato EVO oil thinking of a refreshing summer salad which can combine the flavours of Europe and America in one bowl – we prepared a mixed green salad with dried Pachino cherry tomatoes, mango, Caprino cheese, croutons, bacon and honey, with a drop of traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena and a splash of lime on top… all finalized by Efkrato’s notes of green olives, lettuce and tomato to bind everything together, of course.
“EFKRATO comes from our small family olive groves in northern Crete. We have a loving and respectful relationship with the olive grove that generously gives us back not only its fruit, but also snails, wild grasses (fennel, native capers, wild asparagus etc). This is a key component of EFKRATO’s identity. As a result, the cultivation methods we use are much stricter than those of organic farming and practically impossible to apply in large scale production of olive oil. The main way of fertilization is our “cooperation” with horses and sheep that offer their organic manure in exchange for the wild grasses of our olive grove. “
“The olives are selected by hand, one by one, and only those in excellent condition are used in the production of EFKRATO. Olive oil extraction is done every day, less than 6.5 hours after harvest. Only the batches with the best organoleptic characteristics are bottled. Harvesting takes place before the fruits ripen, in order to produce what the ancient Greeks called “ωμοτριβές” (early harvest olive oil), which from ancient times was considered the most nutritious olive oil.”
Terroir & Region
There are at least 3 good reasons to consider Crete one of the best places on Earth for olive oil production: its territory, perfectly suited to the cultivation of the olive tree, which presents itself with low, sunny and windy hills benefitting from a Mediterranean climate; the millennial history of olive oil commercialization which has always characterized this land; the diet of the Cretans which, in full Mediterranean style, have always used olive oil as an irreplaceable source of fats and polyphenols. For the Minoan civilization, which inhabited the island for more than a millennium before the ancient era of the great Empires, olive oil was so important that it was also the protagonist of its people’s sacred and religious rites; even in the royal palace of Knossos, it was possible to find an oil press.
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Cultivar / Olive variety
Tsounati is an olive variety also known as Matsolia, Mastolia, Mouratolia and Mastoeidis; the cultivar is widely spread throughout Greece, and it is mainly consumed as table olive. Tsounati olive trees are quite resistant to cold and adverse weather conditions (we can find groves at high altitudes), and its yield in olive oil production is high.
Discover other cultivars.