Olive oil in Crete, Greece
The Cretan Olive Oil
Crete is a unique island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the southernmost tip of Europe, a place blessed by God and nature. In Crete there is a wide variety of plants, herbs and flowers. The most common tree in Crete is the olive tree. There are large areas where olives are grown and the olive oil produced from these olives is considered to be of very high quality. The climate of Crete is considered ideal for olive cultivation because it is warm and full of light.
Extra virgin olive oil is a natural juice, produced by pressing the olive fruit. Greece produces approximately 400.000 tons of olive oil per year and is the third country in olive oil production per year.
Crete alone produces approximately 200.000 tons of olive oil and 10.000 tons of organic olive oil annually, and this amount is increasing year by year. Cretan virgin olive oil is of better quality than its Spanish and Italian counterparts. This is proven by the fact that the Italians and the Spanish mix their own olive oils with the Greek in order to improve their quality and taste.
Even if 2000 years have passed, the way olive trees are cultivated in Crete has not changed. Cretan producers use the traditional way of farming and do not use chemicals and fertilizers. This results in the natural, juicy fruit and the excellent quality of Cretan olive oil. From ancient times to the present day, olive oil was not only used as food but also for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes.
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Olives cultivation in Greece represents 87,21% of all tree crops. Greece is the third olive oil producing country in the world, after Spain and Italy. Worldwide, Greece is first in the production of black olives and third in the production of olive oil. More than 132 million olive trees are cultivated on its territory, from which approximately 350.00 tons of olive oil are produced annually – of which 82% belongs to the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) category which is the best, top quality and this makes Greece no1 worldwide in terms of highest % of top quality olive oil production (EVOO) from its overall production. Also, about 21 million trees are cultivated for the production of table olives (Greek Table Olives).