Part II – Harvest Day
As our luck would have it, the day we chose to pick the olives was the only day that week it didn’t rain. Not only did it not rain, but the skies opened up, and the blues of the sky merged with the blues of the Mediterranean Sea. Luck? Maybe, but to be quite honest with you, this entire journey of Theofani’s EVOO has been one of destiny, and fantasy. It never even crossed my mind that it could rain until I landed in Greece. The night before the harvest, Grigoris, co-founder of Theofani’s EVOO and also my cousin, drove us down to the beach and he couldn’t believe where the waves had reached that day. It was a proper storm, but I still had no doubt that the next morning would be amazing, and it was.
The next morning we headed out to the orchard and met up with some of the workers we hired to make quick work of an otherwise long process. One of the main reasons why Theofani’s EVOO is one of the best EVOO’s around is because in order to make great Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a low acidity and it be high in polyphenols, we meticulously orchestrate the timing of the picking, to when it heads to the factory for the olives to get extracted. By picking earlier in the season and by picking and extracting quickly, this lends to an EVOO with a higher polyphenol count and lower acidity. The result is that you get an excellent EVOO, with a slightly peppery finish, with a long longevity, and amazing health benefits. At a very high level, those are the two main drivers for acidity, and high polyphenol count, but not the only ones. I will make sure in the future to do a write up on olive varieties, how the olives are transported, what’s the difference between cold pressed and cold extracted, and storage methods. These are all factors in producing and maintaining a quality EVOO.
As a thank you for reading about this trip here is a 15% off promo code “GreeceTrip”
One of the beautiful things about the olive orchards in Greece is that these trees pre-date proper commercial farming, and the introduction of super high density farming as we see today in Spain and the United States. The trees in Greece are ancient, they have room to breathe, and whether we realize it or not, it’s more their home than it is ours. I felt that walking through the orchards. Olive trees have this mangled look to them as they get older. Almost like battle wounds that you would see on an exotic animal, where just by looking at it, you can imagine what it’s been through. That’s what I thought when I saw these trees. I thought to myself, these trees have more stories than I do.
In Part III I will go in depth about the olive press factory (Greek: ελαιοτριβείο, pronounced elaiotriveío).
January 25th, 2022