If up to now you have only been eating Spanish or Italian olives available in our traditional stationary stores and supermarkets, you can safely say that the adventure with their tasting begins from scratch or worse with the baggage of bad experiences. Olives sold in Crete and Greece are products of a completely different quality and incomparable taste.
Today we would like to introduce to you black dried olives, which we purchased in Paleochore. Our first contact with these olives was completely accidental and completely unexpected. We got them as an addition to the mizithra cheese in a small family hotel, where we had booked accommodation. We immediately liked their salty and intense taste. In the subsequent days of staying in Paleochore, these olives were still persecuting us in various dishes. They were even an inseparable addition and we found them, for example, in horiatiki salad, in various types of sauces, as well as in gigantes plaki, or beans baked in tomato sauce. This perfectly known dish was sprinkled with just a few black olives, which after absorbing water from the tomato sauce melted in your mouth. The delicate pulp, devoid of the tart flavor typical of the pitted olives sold by us, also contained a distinct taste of salt.
In the end, we were so fond of tasting that we often competed for their fair share. The inevitable specter of leaving Paleochora meant that we began to look for information about them.
The Cretan working in one of the taverns explained to us that the specific taste and appearance of these olives is a result of the long-term effect of salt. The very procedure of preparing these olives is extremely simple and not very complicated. Freshly picked olives are thrown in layers into the barrel, and then covered with coarse sea salt, which over time deprives olives of excessive moisture and works in a preservative manner.
We decided that before leaving Paleochory, our baggage must contain an adequate supply of this specialty. Although initially we thought that buying could be a problem, it eventually turned out to be very simple and olives were purchased in the nearest vegetable store. For a really small amount, we have become very happy owners of two sizable olive sacks, on which one could still see the crystals of salt in which they were macerated.
Today, taught by the example of chefs from Paleochora, we are happy to add them to a variety of dishes, but we are also happy to reach for them without a bargain. Unfortunately, we do not know if you can get it somewhere in Poland because it is a rare product. However, if you are on Crete near Paleochory, be sure to look for them in local shops.
One of the biggest novelties that have appeared on the Polish market in the last two years are polyphenol oils originating in Crete and Greece. Last year, we wrote about them twice, but they are still little-known and recognizable products in Poland. For us, this topic has become very interesting, so we decided to look at it even closer. Therefore, we publish further information on polyphenol oils, focusing mainly on the excellent oil Eliama Gold produced by Elli's Farm in Crete.
Greece is the third largest oil producer in the world after Spain and Italy with a market share of over ten percent in the global market. Seeing the many olive groves on Crete probably will not surprise you that less than 1/3 of the total production of Greek oil comes from this island. Similarly high, because almost 27% share only olive groves located on the Peloponnese.
Coming back from a holiday in Crete, we bring with us a tan, many pictures and a bag of beautiful memories connected with visiting this charming corner of Greece. However, holidays in Crete are not only breathtaking landscapes, sun or monuments, but also a feast for the palate. Greeks know how to appreciate the multitude of fresh vegetables and fruits, which is why even the simplest dish tastes great there. Greek cuisine shows that very little food would have to be made from simple ingredients. It is also worth remembering that in many scientific studies the local diet has been recognized as one of the healthiest and most sustainable in the world. Greek cuisine can make eating vegetables a pleasure. One thing is for sure, our taste buds were probably born in Crete, because the local cuisine won over our hearts or stomachs.