Greek olive oil’s reputation for excellence has made it sought after worldwide, including in the US, not only as a culinary ingredient but also for its cultural and historical significance.
The culinary world has witnessed a remarkable surge in the popularity and demand for high-quality olive oils, and one country that stands out for its exceptional production is Greece. Renowned for its rich history, Mediterranean climate, and fertile soil, Greece has long been celebrated as a premier producer of extra virgin olive oil.
In recent years, the allure of Greek olive oils has captivated food enthusiasts and health-conscious consumers alike, prompting an exploration of the diverse range of flavors and aromas these oils have to offer. With their unrivaled taste profiles, artisanal production methods, and commitment to sustainability, Greek extra virgin olive oils have become a prized commodity in kitchens around the world.
In this article, we delve into the realm of Greek olive oils to uncover the eight best options available on the market, each representing the epitome of excellence in flavor, quality, and craftsmanship.
Whether you are an aspiring home cook, a culinary connoisseur, or simply an advocate for wholesome ingredients, this selection of Greek extra virgin olive oils promises to elevate your dining experience to new heights.
We’ve conducted thorough research and set up a set of criteria to establish the list of the best Greek EVOO’s.
Our list of criteria is as follows:
1. Taste profile: Will the oil deliver a balanced and well-tasting sensory experience?
2. Production method: Is the oil produced solely on cold pressing techniques?
3. Packaging: Is the oil packaged/bottled responsibly to preserve its nutrients?
4. Organic produce: Is the oil made from organic farming?
5. Monovarietal: Has the oil been produced from only one variety?
6. Awards: Has the oil or manufacturer received awards or been prized for the oils?
Pamako is renowned for its high phenolic content, making it one of Greece’s top organic extra virgin olive oils. Packed with polyphenols, powerful natural compounds with antioxidant properties, Pamako offers a range of potential health benefits.
Research has shown that Pamako organic extra virgin olive oil contains significantly higher levels of phenols like oleocanthal and oleacein compared to average values. These compounds are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties.
Embraced by esteemed international competitions, Pamako stands as one of the top award-winning Greek olive oils. Its unparalleled quality, elegantly presented in a protective glass bottle, enhances your culinary experience. Indulge in its fresh, fruity aroma, knowing that you’re making a healthy choice for yourself.
The Pamako EVOO delivers a fruity and fresh aroma, with a touch of bitterness.
The Pamako oil is pressed the same day as it is harvested (hand picked), which aids in preserving the fresh taste.
The Governor premium olive oil stands out with its exceptional flavor, aroma, and nutritional content compared to ordinary cooking oils.
Made from Lianolia olives cultivated in the renowned olive groves of Corfu, Greece, this olive oil offers an authentic taste experience. The olives are carefully harvested early and traditionally pressed on the same day, preserving the most flavor, aroma, and nutritional benefits.
Aside from its extraordinary taste, this olive oil is packed with antioxidants, especially oleocanthal, which helps combat harmful unstable atoms in the body and reduces oxidative stress, potentially slowing down premature aging. Furthermore, incorporating this olive oil into your diet may contribute to heart health, as studies suggest it can support normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The opaque bottle design, adorned with a metallic insignia and a leather strip, protects the olive oil from light exposure, ensuring its quality remains intact.
The stylish packaging of the olive oil
Made from handpicked Lianolia olives from Corfu, Greece, it offers an unforgettable taste with a peppery flavor and notes of arugula, chicory, artichokes, violets, and freshly cut grass.
The PJ KABOS extra virgin olive oil offers a delicious, healthy, and authentic Mediterranean taste experience, backed by a long-standing family tradition of olive oil production, mindful sourcing, and sustainable practices. The product has received recognition and accolades, including a Gold Medal at the 2023 Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards, and is endorsed by renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa for use in his restaurants worldwide.
The PJ Kabos EVOO is considered healthy and beneficial to a balanced diet and lifestyle, containing 521 mg/kg of phenols during production, with high levels of Hydroxytyrosol. Moreover, the oil is rigorously tested using the certified HPLC method by the International Olive Council.
The taste of the PJ Kabos EVOO is medium in intensity, with aromas of cut grass, artichoke, basil, and notes of tomato stem. Its taste exhibits abundant fruitiness, medium bitterness, and pungency with notes of arugula, flowers, mint, and green almond. The complexity and persistence of flavors give cuisine an authentic Mediterranean taste.
What sets Ellora Farms apart is their commitment to organic farming practices. This olive oil is certified USDA organic, guaranteeing that it has been produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You can feel confident knowing that every drop of this oil is pure and free from harmful chemicals.
Traceability is another hallmark of Ellora Farms. They take pride in their transparent supply chain, allowing you to trace the journey of the olives from the groves to your table. By using their unique tracking system, you can access detailed information about the cultivation, harvest, and production processes involved in creating this exceptional olive oil.
The extra virgin olive oil produced by Ellora Farms is derived from Koroneiki olives, renowned for their rich flavor profile and high nutritional value. These olives are hand-picked at the perfect stage of ripeness, ensuring optimal taste and freshness. The oil undergoes a cold-press extraction method, preserving its natural goodness and retaining all the health benefits.
When it comes to flavor, Ellora Farms’ extra virgin olive oil is simply exquisite. Its fruity and peppery notes blend harmoniously, adding depth and complexity to your dishes. Whether you’re drizzling it over salads, using it as a dip for bread, or incorporating it into your favorite recipes, this olive oil will enhance the taste and aroma of your culinary creations.
Skoutari Olive Oil is a premium, organic, extra virgin olive oil produced exclusively from olives of the Koroneiki variety grown in the family’s olive groves on the fertile island of Crete. The name “Skoutari” is inspired by the 17th-century Cretan romance “Erotokritos,” where it represents the shield that protects the besotted youth while fighting for his beloved.
The olive oil is meticulously crafted through early harvest, careful gathering, and immediate cold pressing at temperatures below 27°C. This process results in olive oil with low acidity, distinctive aromas, and high polyphenol content. Skoutari Olive Oil carries a certified health claim on its label, indicating that it contributes to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress.
The taste of Skoutari is fruity with a fresh spicy touch and mild bitterness. Aromas from bananas, tomatoes, fresh grass and leafs.
Mákri olives are indigenous and uniquely nurtured by the northern winds from the Rhodope Mountains and the sultry winds from the Aegean Sea. They offer a blend of fresh flavors, balanced taste, and distinctive characteristics. Kyklopas Olive Oil has received numerous awards in top international and Greek olive oil competitions, making it one of the top ten olive oils in the world rankings.
Kyklopas offers various olive oil products, including AGES, a premium extra virgin olive oil made from hand-picked green olives from centuries-old Makri olive trees, and Elaiolado Makris PDO, exclusively derived from the indigenous Makri olive.
Aromatic Notes: banana peel, freshly cut grass, green apple, tomato
Taste: sweet, green almond, grass, black pepper
Oilove produces two types of certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in Greece, distinguished by the region of cultivation and olive crop variety. The first type, “Origin Astros,” is made from a blend of up to three olive varieties (Megaritiki, Manaki, and Koroneiki) grown in plain and semi-mountainous areas of Voria Kynouria, Arcadia. This EVOO offers a smooth and aromatic sensation, with a yellowish-golden color and a medium fruity and pungent taste. In its limited edition, “Origin Astros” contains a special blend with increased fruity and bitter intensity.
The second type, “Origin Tolofon,” is made from a blend of two olive varieties (Patrini and Koroneiki) grown in the slopes of Tolofon, Fokida, Greece. The olive grove is located on a gradual rising slope of a low-elevation mountainous area, with most of the trees being newly-planted, resulting in a high-quality thin oil with a unique amber color. The taste of “Origin Tolofon” is described as medium fruity, pungent, and mildly bitter. The limited edition of this EVOO also offers a special blend with increased bitter intensity.
Both types of Organic EVOO are produced using the cold extraction method to preserve the beneficial properties of olives. After production, the olive oils are safely stored under ideal conditions in inox steel tanks at the company’s manufacturing plant, which adheres to high-quality standards for storage and packaging of organic products.
Medium fruity, pungent, and mildly bitter.
Aromas of green pepper, artichokes, and various herbs, are providing a balanced and pleasurable flavor profile in this oil.
Greece is a country renowned for its rich history and deep-rooted tradition of olive cultivation.
Taste and Aroma: Greek olive oil is celebrated for its balanced and harmonious taste. It often exhibits fruity and grassy notes with hints of herbs, artichoke, and almonds. The peppery and slightly bitter taste, known as “pungency,” is a desirable characteristic that adds complexity to the oil. The aromatic profile of Greek olive oil enhances the flavors of various dishes, making it a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine.
Health Benefits: Like all extra virgin olive oils, Greek olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy fats. It is also a good source of antioxidants, including polyphenols and vitamin E, which have been associated with numerous health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, protecting against oxidative stress, and promoting overall well-being.
Heritage and Tradition: Olive trees have been cultivated in Greece for thousands of years, and the art of olive oil production has been passed down through generations. Greek farmers take great pride in their olive groves and employ traditional methods of cultivation, harvesting, and pressing, resulting in a product deeply intertwined with Greek culture and heritage.
In Greek mythology, the olive and olive oil too plays an important role. For example, legend tells that it was the goddess Athena that won the right to have the capital city named after her after winning a popularity competition where she planted an olive tree for the people.
Diverse Varieties: Greece is home to a wide range of olive tree varieties, each contributing to the distinct flavor profiles of Greek olive oils. Some notable varieties include Koroneiki, Athinolia, Manaki, and Kalamata. These different cultivars offer unique aromas, tastes, and textures, allowing you to explore a diverse range of flavors.
Quality Standards: Greece has strict regulations and quality standards in place to protect the authenticity and integrity of its olive oil. The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) certifications guarantee that the olive oil is produced in specific regions and adheres to specific production methods. These certifications ensure that consumers are getting genuine Greek olive oil of the highest quality.
Mediterranean Climate: The Mediterranean climate of Greece, characterized by mild winters and hot, dry summers, provides ideal conditions for olive tree cultivation. The combination of abundant sunshine, sea breeze, and rocky soil helps produce olives with rich flavors and high levels of polyphenols, which contribute to the health benefits and longevity of Greek olive oil.