About

KASTAMONITSA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

The History

Kastamonitsa Extra Virgin Olive Oil (“EVOO”) was brought to Canada by Demetrios “Paul” Psyllakis in the early 2000’s after many of his restaurant customers remarked on how intensely flavourful the EVOO was that he used at his establishment as a salad and finishing oil.  He had been returning to Canada every year with 20 litres of small batch, first press EVOO that was being produced in the village of his birth, Kastamonitsa, which is located in Crete, Greece.

This gave Paul the idea to work with an agricultural cooperative in the region of his village, in order to source larger quantities of premium EVOO, which could be sold commercially in Canada under the brand name “Kastamonitsa”.

Olives picking in Sicily

Our EVOO

Kastamonitsa EVOO is herbicide and pesticide free and sourced from estate grown olives by a fair trade agricultural cooperative located in Thrapsano, Crete.

The qualitative characteristics of Thrapsano EVOO depend on a combination of factors: variety cultivated (Psilolia/Koroneiki), the area’s soil and climate, and mode of cropping and processing the olives (common pressing system).

Olive processing

It has the following physico-chemical characteristics:

  • The taste is a composite of bitter and sweet. The prevalent bitterness of the young oil lessens with time.
  • It has a strongly fruity aroma (particularly when the olive oil is new) that shows great persistence owing to the high number of constituents with gustatory and olfactory characteristics (saturated and monounsaturated aldehydes, terpenoid compounds).
  • The colour is a clear light green.
  • It flows thinly owing to its content of liquid glycerides with many unsaturated acids, properties that upgrade its quality and are due to the wet production environment (high annual rainfall, moisture-retaining soil and watering during the summer).
  • It contains high quantities of oleic acid and vitamin E and is characterised by low acidity, absorption factors K232 and K270 and a peroxide rating, chemical characteristics shaped by the climatic peculiarities of the area and the post-harvest procedure, which involves common pressing of the olives of all the area’s growers, a practice unique in Crete.  The resulting EVOO is typically max acidity of 0.5% and average acidity of approximately 0.3%.

Production

Growers in the area prune every four to five years to a low shape providing a balanced olive tree.  Suitable inspected products are used for soil fertilization, including manure.  Weeds are dealt with by mechanical cultivation and insects and diseases by sprinkling bait on the soil and selective pruning of affected areas.

The olives are picked when pale yellow to violet in colour depending on degree of ripeness. They are taken immediately in sacks made of plant fibres to the cooperative’s mill, where the common pressing takes place.

The extra virgin olive oil is extracted by cold pressure centrifuging and is removed in closed circuit stainless tanks, where the oil is allowed to naturally settle for two months before being containerized.

Read more about Olive Oil fraud

Kastamonitsa EVOO is “sourced at origin” under the European Union scheme of geographical indication and traditional specialty, known as Protected Designation of Origin (“PDO”), which promotes and protects the names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs.  The purpose of the law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods, promote rural and agricultural activity, help producers obtain a premium price for their authentic products, and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour.

Oil production

Kastamonitsa EVOO’s PDO designation guarantees our consumers that our product is 100% traceable to the Thrapsano region of Crete and is produced in traditional, best practices methods.

Retailers can be assured of the quality of Kastamonitsa EVOO as every shipping container load of oil that is transported to Canada is tested for chemical composition/purity beforehand by the Greek Government in an approved laboratory.  The lab results are freely available upon request. For retail inquiries, please contact us.

Kastamonitsa Product line

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