Koroneiki is the most common Cretan olive variety, and creates a classic Greek olive oil. They’re small, black and green, and juicy – so yield lots of oil per kilo of olives. The countryside around Arkalochori has been used for olive cultivation for 5,000 years! It’s in the hinterland of Knossos, the seat of the ancient Minoan civilization.
This is a general use olive oil that’s good for both cooking, dressing salads, for marinades and drizzling over soups, casseroles and meat. For an incredibly simple but delicious appetizer, just eat it with some crusty brown bread!
2018 wasn’t a great year for olive oil, but luckily Crete was solid in terms of volume of production. Acidity levels were a little higher than normal; this oil’s 0.5% was typical for the region vs the previous years’ level of 0.3% (to qualify as “extra virgin” an olive oil has to have a free acidity 0.8% level or below).
We were present at the milling of this oil in the Kengeroglu mill in Arkalochori. We can guarantee it was done at 27C (ie “cold pressed”) and was carried out using solely mechanical means.
The trees that produce these olives are of different ages, spread across different plots of land around Arkalochori. They’re sprayed once a year against olive fly, as well as fertilized and irrigated.