Taste of Perfection Through Artisanal Knowledge

by Barbara at The Tassos Group

wisdom@tassos.com

 

In our last post, Where An Olive Tree Grows Matters, we shared with you how the topography, climate, and soil of Crete, Greece makes this island the cradle of olive cultivation.  We wish to bring it all together by discussing tradition, another required balancing and harmonizing contributor for producing a flawless olive oil.

Topography, climate, soil, and tradition are referred to cumulatively as terroir …. a word we love to hate.  As pretentious sounding as this word may be, it does sum up a complex system, where a singular spot on the map can influence foods to heights of perfection. It is because of Crete’s terroir that we produce our olive oils in this geographic location and nowhere else.

 

 

Tradition is as big deal to us as it is to consumers.  Our olive oil comes from pressing olives that have only been traditionally grown and then hand harvested. 

Traditional agriculture allows indigenous crops to manage their biorhythms within their own local biospheres.  Conventional agriculture is the definition of synthetic.  Conventional methods demand the plant to produce higher yields.  This is done chemically at the forfeiture of food quality and the natural environment.  

Traditional agriculture is based on artisanal knowledge, where quality is attached to the yield not the quantity of the yield.  We leave our trees to their own natural cycles and then we harvest in the traditional way.  

We harvest an amazing olive, the Koroneiki, as our sole source for oil.  This olive is referred to as both the King and the Queen of Olives and deserves both royal rankings.  Small in size, it has a smaller yield in comparison to other olive types and that is fine by us. We will not compromise taste and nutritional content for mass production.  

The world’s finest olive oil is produced from Crete grown Koroneiki olives due to its perfect microclimate, the Mediterranean chaparral biome we discussed in our last blog.  Scientific research has compared this varietal to other olive types, ranking it as a world leader in valuable antioxidants and polyphenol content. 

Maintaining traditional methods, we hand harvest unripened Koroneiki olives.  Ripening depletes the olive of its biophenols and nutrients and changes the final taste of the olive oil.  The unique chemical compounds from unripen olives are of the greatest health benefits while giving the oil its distinctively fresh aroma and taste. 

Please do not think we crossed the line using pretentious or unpronounceable words but the word organoleptic is coming up.  This word, too, is the only one that will work as all the sense organs are involved.  Pressed and bottled unripen Koroneiki olives are organoleptic wonderfulness. 

 

Tassos® Extra Virgin Olive Oil Organoleptic Profile

Bold but Balanced, Robust yet Layered

Aroma

Fresh, fruity smell with grassy and herbaceous notes.

Texture

Velvety

Taste

Fruity, including green apple and loaded with lingering banana notes along with an artichoke level bitterness = all equilibrated and pleasant.

Tactile

Intensely robust as noted by a peppery sensation at the back of the throat. Only Cold Pressed olive oil has the unique ‘cough’ chemical compound, Oleocanthal.

The more robust, the fresher and healthier the olive oil.

 

By hand harvesting, we spare the olive from bruising, which we all know starts any fruit on a rapid downhill slide to fermentation and rotting.  We minimize further opportunities for bruising and maximize freshness by pressing within hours of the harvest.  The peak of quality is essentially the moment the olives are picked from the tree and any further loss of quality is only curtailed by respecting traditional methods.

We do not provide our trees with artificial sustenance or water. By quenching their thirst on rainwater alone and with our kind and gentle traditional management, our oils have very low acidity levels.  This level, along with the high antioxidant compounds, produces stable, long shelf lived olive oils.  These superior quality factors also give our olive oils a higher smoke point, over 410℉, making them suitable for any kind of cooking, frying or baking.

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