Liquid gold: A fresh-pressed look at Kalamata olive oil
May 30th, 2012
03:00 PM ET
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Olive oil, a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, has been touted as the panacea in the fight against heart disease, and demand for some types of oil is starting to rival that of a fine bottle of wine.

Besides being high in healthy monounsaturated fats, a report in the February issue of Archives of Neurology says that olive oil is one of those good fats that may even protect the brain.

Bob Bauer, President of the North American Olive Oil Association, says the significant growth in the consumption of olive oil usage is not a fluke. In 2011, 599 million pounds of olive oil were imported, compared to the just 64 million pounds imported in 1982.

"It's a combination of people hearing more about olive oil from the media and cooking shows. And now, they hear about it from their friends and people are willing to try and be creative and try new foods," says Bauer. "Olive oil is just new to some people. It just tastes good and just using it makes a dish seem fancier."

And while Greek olive oil only accounts for approximately 2% of imported olive oil into the U.S., Kalamata olive oil (and to a larger degree, its olives) has exploded into the market. From hummus to salad dressing, Kalamata olive oil has become synonymous with a healthy lifestyle.

greek salad

The city of Kalamata, a hidden gem on the southern coast of the Peloponese, is not only the home of the musician Yanni and sun-drenched beaches, but also to some of the best food products along the Mediterranean, including its world-renowned olives and extra virgin olive oil.

What distinguishes a Kalamata olive from all others is its distinctive juicy and thick texture, low acidity, peppery aftertaste and, above all else, its almond-shaped pointed pit that is reddish in color.

But with the success and name recognition of Kalamata, comes imposters and imitators who often promote their products as the originals.

It's that very distinction that exasperates AGRO.VI.M. owner and vice-president Jenny Gyfteas. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Gyfteas says that many of the products that reach the mouths of consumers are not what they appear to be.

Her gripe is that many who sell Kalamata olives and oil are not Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certified. Only products that come from and are packed in Kalamata can receive this certification.

As both an opportunity for the producer and a guarantee for the consumer, the European Union (EU) established the quality standard that is awarded only to high quality oils produced in specified areas with a high concentration of olive trees.

"Kalamata brand refers to a certain product," says Gyfteas. "Others package in Italy and not in Greece. Greece does not have the means or finances to go after imposter producers of Kalamata oil."

Gyfteas stresses the consumer should be very careful when buying products: "It should say 'product of Greece and packed in Greece' and it should be packed in Kalamata which is the only way to minimize fraud.”

Jenny Gyfteas and her brother Dimitri oversee the company's Iliadia product line that was started by their father, Andreas, in 1964. The company has grown to become the third largest that specializes in Kalamata olives; it produces nearly 8,000 pounds of olives and 12,000 pounds of olive oil annually.

The olives are mostly harvested by hand from November until January, and then bagged and taken to local mills where they are processed.

In 2010, the company exported 25 million euro (US $32 million) worth of goods. While only 8% of the company's products are sold in Greece, the remaining products are sold overseas with much of the olive oil sold in bulk to Italy.

And while sales are up, Iliada production manager Makris Giannopolulos says growth is modest, but that will change as more people are introduced to the Greek oil.

"Now a lot of Greek restaurants are popping up, even in China and that's good for us," says Giannopolulos. "It takes a lot of time to understand the quality."

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Greece • Greek • Travel


soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. greek olives exports

    Greece has different olive varieties .
    Messinia and Crete are the biggest exporters of olive oil.

    Greek Olives Exporting Companies:

    https://www.exportgate.gr/overview/sectors/agriculture/olives

    October 25, 2013 at 6:17 am |
  2. IceboxJewelry

    Olive oil is so nice.I like to dish inside, it makes everything beautiful. Fall in love with the taste of it.Exciting!!! Let me share a surprise that can take you a good mood,they sell rolex atlanta,Cheap, fashionable.

    November 22, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  3. Dina

    I have been cooking for greeks and non-greeks for decades and have worked as a pastry chef so I have developed culinary skills that are vetted. Every cook and chef knows that the best ingedients yeild the finest meals. I've been to the Iliada groves and processing plant. This is Greece's most impressive production endeavor. It's family owned and run and it's "green". Kalamata olives, despite the objections of those with outdated political and cultural biases, are coveted by even those who can't pronounce KALAMATA. Support our country, support our economoy, and support our domestic production. If you are skeptical, taste the oil, you will find it's superb quality speaks for itself!

    June 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  4. ala-kat

    Been using olive oil for as long as I can remember. Good stuff. Would like to see an article about coconut oil though. It is not a substitute for olive oil, they are used totally differently, but there is limited information available (that I can find).

    June 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Truth-seeker

    Try the Greek olive oil and the Spanish as well. The KALAMATA IlLIADA brand black olives are a great snack and very healthy. Unfortunately guys, olives and Olive Oil will not solve the crisis sneaking up on all of us. Popeye the sailor man with a ton of spinach cant help either. Help your country, try to buy local products when you get a chance and treat yourselves to a delicacy now and then with the KALAMATA ILIADA olive oil and olives. It wont harm the US deficit and will probably help the Greeks to continue buying US products . . .

    June 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  6. john

    "Her gripe is that many who sell Kalamata olives and oil are not Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certified. Only products that come from and are packed in Kalamata can receive this certification."

    This is known as an entry barrier and it's been around in business circles forever. It doesn't mean squat, but Jenny Gyfteas and company helped to create it so they could corner the market and quash any competition. It's like creating a protected certification that only corn grown in Iowa can genuinely be called corn and that all other corn is imitation.

    Beyond that point, if prospective businesses do approach Kalamata to grow the olive under the PDO, they are charged a fee for certification which is essentially a tariff equal to any profits which could be earned. It's just a method for trying to keep others out of the business of growing Kalamata olives. In reality, the olive tastes exactly the same no matter where it's grown or sold and constitutes the genuine article regardless. Shame on Gyfteas for trying to use the media to cry foul.

    June 5, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Truth-seeker

      John, you got it all wrong buddy! PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is a European scheme that protects products listed with the relevant EU Authority from misuse and imitation.
      It helps consumers, by giving them information concerning the specific characteristics of the products and by assuring through certification, that they are buying the real thing!
      PDO covers a wide range of products in Europe for example KALAMATA OLIVES and FETA cheese in Greece, PIZZA NAPONETANA, Proscuitto di Parma and Aceto Balsamico Di Modena in Italy, Mostviertler Birnmost and Tirole Graukase in Austria to name a few. You can find a complete data base of PDO registered EU products at (http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_en.htm ).
      PDO- covers agricultural products and foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognized know-how. It is almost the same as the California Grown scheme, however, in order to assure that the product (e.g. olive oil, cheese, vinegar, etc.) is fully prepared in a designated area by traditional methods, certification by a National Authority is mandated. This of course increases the cost for all PDO product processors including AGROVIM and the Gyftea family! However, it is the only mechanism known in Europe to assure the unique and authentic taste and quality of the specific product which must be protected.
      Of course one can purchase KALAMATA olive trees and plant them in CALIFORNIA or somewhere in CHINA, but the unique characteristics of soil, environment, processing and packaging techniques used locally in KALAMATA can not be duplicated. One can state on his logo that the product sold is KALAMATA Type Olives grown and processed in CHINA and sell them. This statement will be true and honorable and consumers will know exactly what they are buying without being misled.
      So you see, you are free to grow your own olives anywhere you like, including the KALAMATA region! You are also free to choose PDO certification like anyone else if you meet the requirements. Of course you are obliged to inform the end consumer of exactly what the product is that they are purchasing, with large enough letters so it may be legible and not misleading.
      Good luck in your endeavors in growing your own olive trees, I think that it is generally a good idea given the fact that there is a continuous increase in food demand world wide.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  7. Brookdale Al

    California olive oils are now becoming world class and are winning awards world wide....like California wines!

    June 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • nom

      lol
      nothing compares with greek-kalamata olive oil.in this area of greece produce olive oil since 4000-5000 B.C.
      the quality of california olive oil its much lower.Kalamata olive oil wins every year the award for the best in quality olive oil in the word and second is another greek area,island of Crete.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  8. leero

    Zito ELLAS !!!! GreatbOlive Oil, Grapes, Bread, Feta, and the Mountains and the Sea !!! As the Great English traveller/Grecophile, Patrick Leigh-Fermor wrote: Living here (Greece) one could forget to die !!

    June 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • calimama

      Ditto! I love Greece.. beautiful places, amazing islands, food to die for, nice people.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  9. Fredie

    I oiled a Greek this weekend, she loved it.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  10. frank

    best olive oil is from Spain!

    June 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • nom

      spanish have much lower quality than greek.
      Greek-Kalamata olive oil awarded every year as the best in the world competitions.
      the mother land of the olive trees is the greek peninsula.they produce olives and olive oil from 4000-5000 B.C.
      there are two kinds of olive trees.both of them have birthplace in greece,the first in kalamata and the second in the greek region of Amfissa.
      in spain the olive trees are of kalamata species,bring there there by greek settlers 3000 years ago but the quality is lower.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  11. Common Sense

    Olive exports aren't gonna get the Greeks out of debt.Germans don't drink that many martinis.Sign off on a few of their islands and we'll talk.

    June 4, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  12. iceman777

    Wow, there sure are alot people here very passionate about olive oil. I myself don't cook with olive oil, I only use it as a condiment to compliment the dishes I prepare. I prefere using a EVOO to drizzle on finished pasta dishes, fresh bread, soups and the like. I found that using Canola oil to saute with (higher smoking point than olive oil) then drizzling a quality EVOO over my finished dish is delightful. Just my humble opinion.

    June 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • esmiranda

      Understandable. I find olive oil gets bitter if it gets too hot.

      June 4, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • tim chirnin

      I wish all of you non Mediterraneans would go back to using Crisco or lard or even butter, yuk.as you all did before the olive oil craze. Since the health benefits of olive oil were reported, the prices are out of sight because of the new devotees. On another note, every country that produces olive claims that their's is the best and as one person here said "its a matter of taste" just as Cabernet Sauvignon isn't better in and of itself than Merlot, just different.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • OliveChirper

      Iceman: olive oil does lose much of its flavor when you cook with it, but in a sense that's a GOOD thing. What's happening is that its protective polyphenols are being consumed in reacting with free radicals and other toxic intermediates, protecting you from formation of lipid hydroperoxides, mutagenic aldehydes, and other toxins. Canola oil offers no such protection.

      tim chirnin: The price of olive oil actually peaked back in 2008, and has been falling ever since. And, it's not *just* a matter of taste: first, much of the olive oil on the market is slightly rancid and/or damaged by microbial contamination of the olives (and it's so common that it's unfortunately what most people are used to); and second, oils do vary in their healthfulness, with more robust oils having more health-promoting components.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  13. arcangelw7

    Pat, I want to know why you are not at the Bilderberg Meeting or even reporting on it? Why as a Christian, are you not standing up to this evil in this world with Prayers & Leadership, shining Gods light on their Darkness being executed in secret right now as the Global Agenda?

    You should be rallying people peacefully to be there with the protesters and leading them in prayers for this world and Country, and binding up the Principalities and Powers of Darkness as they discuss our demise right in your own backyard. Why is there not even a whisper of this event coming from CNN and who do you really stand up for, the Globalists or God? Shame on you!

    June 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • FightingCrazy

      Wow – someone fell out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down. Get back in your cage.

      June 5, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • jmacc77

      you apparently have a tenuous grasp on reality. what does your rant have to do w/ olive oil? i don't know why i event ask; i'm willing to wager you yourself would have a hard time figuring it out yourself when you come down from your zealot-high.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • whatsthatyousaid

      ". . . CNN and who do you really stand up for, the Globalists or God? Shame on you!"

      Shame on you . . . Globalists are real . . . "god" isn't.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  14. godoflunaticscreation

    You people who are commenting on socialism and other nonsense sound insane! First off, olive oil is NOT vegetable oil. The health benefits of olive oil have been proven numerous times by numerous studies and is accepted as fact among the Scientific and Health community. Second, you people raving about socialism are totally ignorant of any facts so you spit out that term whenever you wish to explain something that is beyond your grasp. If you want to know who is responsible for the current crisis and the 2008 one you can look to corrupt politicians and bankers. The average citizen who wakes up and tends to his farm knows nothing of what you speak. Go buy vegetable oil or inferior oils from whoever you want and leave the high quality, beneficial olive oil of the Mediterranean to those who know it's health benefits. Stay ignorant my fellow Americans, it suits you well.

    June 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  15. Karl Wilder

    I am shocked that so many of you don't know that your olive oil is just vegetable oil with a little color added. Google Olive Oil fraud and learn all about the fake oils that infiltrate the American Market. MANY of the brands people have preferred thus far are not made with olives at all. REAL EVOO is expensive.

    June 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • the grecque

      This is nonsense! Olive oil is not 'colored' vegetable oil! If you knwo what a good quality olive taste like, a good quality olive oil taste the same..

      June 5, 2012 at 11:31 am |
      • Mark Glicker

        What he said.

        June 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Truth-seeker

      Karl, you are right that there are fraudulent oils out there, but unfortunately this is true for all products. I am sure someone has tried to pass you a fake ROLEX watch at some point or the other. We should all be aware as consumers of these cases and do our research and make educated purchases. I think you should try buying olive oils and/or olives from credible companies with international presence, if of course you like this product. The ILIADA brand is a winner and produced by a single family company in KALAMATA Greece. Try some, it should be reasonably prised as well.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  16. scott

    Thanks to CNN for another article promoting the economy in Greece. Helping brother socialists is in fact your noble aim.

    If they can plant more olive trees and restrict other countries from selling olives then who needs the Euro.

    June 3, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      I see that you've abandoned reality long ago. Good riddance. Have fun parroting the rhetoric of the thieves who are selling your backyard to the Chinese. You are too ignorant to understand world events and attempt to box them into a package that conforms to your spoon fed world view. This country is doomed because of ignorant people like you.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      keep attacking your straw man while your household contains products made in China. You do the bidding of your new masters well.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • Truth-seeker

        You have a point there buddy. Take a look at the US deficit at ( http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/03/who-does-the-us-owe-money-to/ ). Nevertheless, Greece always had close ties to the US and the few products it imports have no influence on the deficit problem! It is true however, just as HEINZ is the favoured ketchup, and COKE one of the best soft drinks, and many other US exported foodstuff, Greek olive oil is one of the best in the world and very healthy indeed. Its price comparable Italian and Spanish olive oils and olives, is very low. Try some at first chance . . .it took them thousands of years to perfect and they treat this product with great respect.

        June 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • kalellis

      What are you talking about? This article is about Kalamata olive oil and not politics. In case you have not heard, PDO is the only way you can certify that a product which historically comes from a specific region in the world is not copied improperly (mozzarella, feta, etc). Just because the folks in Wisconsin can copy does not mean you are eating the real thing. YOu should give it a try. It's good for your health – and there's a reason Greeks live longer than most other people (along with the a Japanese and some others). It's their diet – and no, that does not include Big Macs, BBQ ribs or slim jims.
      Try to eat well and leave European politics to those who understand . . .

      June 5, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  17. Swordfish

    Anyone heard of olive oil from Croatia? It's second to none! 2000 year tradition of growing olive trees and processing oil. Once the bottle is opened, one can sense the aroma from accross the table! If too aromatic for some try mixing it with a bit of vegetable oil.

    June 3, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  18. Monger(as in fish)

    It appears as if olive oil snobs are second only to wine snobs. I buy store-brand olive oil (Target's Market Pantry) and I cannot tell the difference in either taste or 'cookability' between it and double-the-price imported oils.

    I have a friend who fancies herself a connoisseur of all things, olive oil included. I transfer the Market Pantry oil into a 'fancy import' labeled bottle I have had for years to keep her from whining about the cheap oil. Has her fooled so far.

    June 2, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Matthew Thibeault

      You cannot tell the difference between jug olive oil and high quality stuff because you lack the palate to do so.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Hypatia

      Just because your taste buds are shot doesn't mean everyone else must descend to your level.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • esmiranda

      I find there are distinctive differences in taste of various brands of olive oil that I try, some are more appealing than others. I don't insist on buying only expensive "liquid gold," so I don't think that makes me an olive oil "snob." Buy what you like. If you insist you like cheap olive oil, than by all means, stick with that. It doesn't mean you have to criticize and insult others for being more adventurous and discerning.

      June 4, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • tim chirnin

      Agreed 100%.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  19. madgreek

    I have been in Kalamata. The olive groves are owned by he Greek Orthodox church AND LEASE the land. The Turks years ago forced people to give their land to the church otherwise the turks would take over...but Now the prick of churches does not want to give the land back to its original owners..I love a strong olive oil. BARI here in Calif. used to put it out..The Greeks in Fresno Calif. put out a good olive oil. Off course it is a matter of taste....Bill from Las Vegas..

    June 2, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  20. A M Boyd

    Kalamata olives and olive oils are magnificent sources of health and food sources. These are not something political and they cannot be produced in the USA. What difference does that make? Don't we have enough horrible things in this world to deal with? Pity the poor little Christians and their lack of knowledge. And patience. And the kindness they professed from their "origins".

    AMB

    June 2, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  21. Kanageloa

    Buy American Olive Oil. As good if not better than anything imported. Keeps money and jobs here in the U.S. of A. and I'm all for that.

    June 2, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • TheSmog

      American olive oil is just no good. Plus most Americans have no clue of what good olive oil tastes -or- looks like. The likes of Bertolli and the rest of US made (never mind they say imported) crap they serve us is raffinated olive oil (a fancy word to say bleached oil). Plus most of the money stays in American hands. Greek olive oil costs about US$ 10 per gallon. They sell it at Walmart for more than $50 a gallon (Once you divide the packaging you'll figure it out). Some things just can't be made in America. Ever tried Italian bread from ITALY?

      June 2, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      American olive oil doesn't compare to the olive oil of the Mediterranean. If you buy American made olive oil for the health benefits then you are throwing your money away.

      June 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • olivegod

        Sorry, but you are wrong. California olive oil is terrific– right up there with Spanish olive oil (which I think is the best).

        Good olive oil is one of the great things in life. It has so many uses and lots of health benefits, especially compared to other oils. But taste is the main thing for us.

        June 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
        • nom

          Greek-Kalamata olive oil awarded every year as the best in the world competitions.
          the mother land of the olive trees is the greek peninsula.they produce olives and olive oil from 4000-5000 B.C.
          there are two kinds of olive trees.both of them have birthplace in greece,the first in kalamata and the second in the greek region of Amfissa.
          in spain the olive trees are of kalamata species,bring there there by greek settlers 3000 years ago but the quality is lower.

          June 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Truth-seeker

      It is true that many American products are the best in the world and that California grows many good agricultural products. Nevertheless, it is impossible to be the best in everything! I think the Greeks have earned the right to claim their olive oil and olives to be among the best in the world. They treat this product with great respect, it is blessed by the gods and they still have olive trees hundreds of years old. Buy some (try the ILIADA from KALAMATA) and try the black olives as well. It will also help the huge trade surplus the US has with Greece and help them buy US cars, arms, computers, etc. thus securing US jobs even more.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  22. JackDW

    Spanish Olive Oil is the best in the world these days.

    June 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Greg

      Spanish olive oil is great. The reason is because olive trees were brought there from Greece dating back to Alexander the Great.

      June 3, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • tim chirnin

      Yes and Icelandic wines are the world's best by far !

      June 5, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Truth-seeker

      Some Spanish olive oils are very good indeed. Spain produces 1.200.000 tons of olive oil and approximately 35% is extra virgin. Greece produces approximately 300.000 tons and over 90% is extra virgin. The country is blessed to produce olives and olive oil. They cant go wrong! Keep in mind also that a lot of the Greek olive oil is exported in bulk to Spain in order to mix with their own olive oil and increase quality level. Good Spanish olive oil however, is comparable to Greek. You should try them both. Try also the black KALAMATA ILIADA brand olives – they are great!

      June 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • nom

        spain produce almost 6,200.000 tons and greece around 2,500.000 tons.
        i'm a producer ;)
        Greek-Kalamata olive oil awarded every year as the best in the world competitions.
        the mother land of the olive trees is the greek peninsula.they produce olives and olive oil from 4000-5000 B.C.
        there are two kinds of olive trees.both of them have birthplace in greece,the first in kalamata and the second in the greek region of Amfissa.
        in spain the olive trees are of kalamata species,bring there there by greek settlers 3000 years ago but the quality is lower.

        June 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
      • nom

        the toxicity in spanish oil is around 0,8-1,5 but in kalamata and greek oil from 0,0-0,5.when the toxicity is low the quality is better. 0,0 toxicity(kalamata oil) means Excellent quality.

        June 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  23. R. B. Quina

    Believe it or not, California growers are helping to plant a couple of orchards in Georgia this year. You might be able to buy local within a few years.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • anonnymoose

      Olive trees take many decades, and optimally longer than that, to produce quality olives for making oil. In regions that grow olive trees, one plants the trees for the future generations to harvest. The best olive groves have been standing for centuries or longer.

      June 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  24. R. B. Quina

    Anyone living in the US who buys imported olive oil is getting ripped off. Dollar for dollar, California olive oils (the only olive oils produced in the US) are equal to or superior in quality to anything imported outside of the extremely expensive oils that you're not going to get your hands on anyway. Also, as demonstrated by the UC Davis olive oil tasting panel last year, most imported oils purporting to be "extra virgin" are anything but. California oils are vetted through taste and chemical testing–similar to the tests foreign producers use on oils they don't export–to ensure their extra virginity. If you're living in the US and want to ensure you're getting a true extra virgin olive oil, look for brands such a McAvoy, Dry Creek, Lucero, California Olive Ranch, Pacific Sun, and any other that bears the California Olive Oil Council's stamp of extra virginity. You'll save money and what you do spend will stay in this country.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • JournalGirl

      Well said! I liked the part of keeping the profits in the US... Thanks!

      June 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • jay

      Georgia and Texas are starting to produce oils as well this year will be the 3rd for GA producers. The reason the oil is better here is because all the olives are coming from the same place. If you ever look at an imported bottle look at where all the olives come from it is a variety of countries.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Skeptic

      Any thoughts on Kirkland signature extra virgin olive oil sold at Costco? Is it a good product?

      June 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • Mark Glicker

        Costco sells some good quality products but it is best to get more info from them if you can.

        June 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Vic

      You're out of your mind if you think American olive oil is as good as Greek. It's not even close, neither is spanish or italian. Greek is the best. It tastes the best by far. Sounds to me like you're being paid by a fledgling industry to spout off lies.

      June 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • razz

      California olive oil is the equal of Italian, Greek, Spanish ... ? Perhaps you're right. I've tasted California OO in the past and was thoroughly unimpressed. Perhaps I had tasted the wrong one. ? Possible. But, for my taste, the best OO dollar for dollar isn't from California.

      June 2, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Greg

      I like some of the California olive oils but in my book the Greek and Spanish quality and taste can't be beat.

      June 3, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • Lee B

      The Queen Creek Olive Mill is east of Phoenix, Arizona and produces wonderful local olive oil. CA is not the only one in the producing olive oil in the US.

      June 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Truth-seeker

      It is true that many American products are the best in the world and that California grows many good agricultural products. I also live the CALIFORNIA GROWN initiative – I think it is great. Nevertheless, it is impossible for California to be the best in everything! I think the Greeks have earned the right to claim their olive oil and olives to be among the best in the world. They treat this product with great respect, it is blessed by the gods and they still have olive trees hundreds of years old. Buy some (try the ILIADA from KALAMATA) and try the black olives as well. It will also help the huge trade surplus the US has with Greece and help them buy US cars, California wines, computers, etc. thus securing US jobs even more.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  25. bluerobin

    allinwin88: most Americans ARE aware of what's happening here,in Greece and most other countries! We're not all stupid! And most of us don't listen to the news-we find out things on our own especially anything to do with the govt and their handling of our money. We are protesting, and making the govt change their ways. News organizations do not tell the complete story of local news or the world so we must find out information on our own and that's what is happening. We are the world over going through a lot of turmoil so we don't need people like you on our backs! We are fighting and we're angry and we want our country back!

    June 1, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  26. Bob Oppedisano

    Kalamata is both a place and and olive, but the Kalamata olive is most typically a used for the table, and is delicious. Olive oil from the area is overwhelmingly made from the ubiquitous Koroneiki olive, which is the basis for the fine Iliada oils mentioned in the story. There is a huge, and legal, Italian olive oil industry based on imports form Greece, Spain, and other countries, and so labeled–many growers in Spain and Greece make more from sending their crop to Italy for re-export as a blend that can get higher prices as an "Italian" package than by selling it on their own.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:29 am |
    • R. B. Quina

      Actually, the olive is called a Kalaman (or Kalamon). Kalamata is the place.

      June 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  27. Euro Expat

    It sure beats Crisco!

    May 31, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  28. sqeptiq

    Trader Joe's has very reasonably priced Kalamata oil.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  29. PantyRaid

    The oil is waaay better when you infuse it with cannabis.

    May 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  30. Sal

    Popeye loves Olive Oil also........

    May 31, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • wbslim

      True and look at how slender Olive oil is, stuff has to be good for you.

      June 2, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  31. brian

    its all greek to me

    May 31, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  32. Kip

    Actually you should use locally made olive oil. Olive oil deteriorates with time.

    May 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • mark glicker

      My stuff comes from Spain and is excellent.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • EDinATLANTA

      not too many olive trees in Atlanta.

      May 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Guest

      Getting locally made olive oil is really tricky if you don't happen to live in an area where olives are grown. :p

      And yes, while olive oil (like any oil) deteriorates over time, we're talking six months to a year here. It's olive oil, not fresh tomatoes!

      June 1, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • KWDragon

      Not too many olive trees in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! Local olive oil? Not in my world. :-)

      June 1, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  33. frank

    JUSTIN BIEBER SAID THE OLIVE OIL IS GOOD

    May 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  34. Smartie

    Kalamata Kalamata Kalamata Chameleon ..... you come and go, you come and go-oooo oh, oh.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  35. hecep

    Some years ago in an interview, a woman (over 100 years old) gave her "secret" as being a shot glass of olive oil everyday.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • CrazyEddie!

      She still alive? If not then it doesn't work.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Skeptic

      Do people who live very long really know what the secret to their long life is? I guess they just have to come up with something.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  36. Something is rotten in Denmark... er Greece

    8K pounds of olives and 12K "pounds" of olive oil.... $25 million?

    May 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Mike in Pekin

      I am thinking that 8K and 12K were supposed to be 8M and 12M

      May 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • inewt

      These are the math skills that got Greece into the mess it is now in.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • MelloYello

      That's $208.33 per pound. I'm going to plant olive trees.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Kel

      Well, duh. They produce enough olives to sell 8000 lbs. of fresh olives and many more olives that are used to produce the 12,000 lbs. of oil.

      June 1, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  37. mark glicker

    I will have to try the Kalamata oil. It may help bail out the Greeks.

    May 30, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • allinwin88@yahoo.com.

      Sigh. You will never learn will you? You don't know first hand what is going on do you? Apparently not because US is almost at the same point, yet you don't do anything about it. The greek socialist government spent and spent and took and took till there was no more money left. Contrary to what you might hear from lazy ignorant Americans, the people of Greece work hard. We have the perks of actually being friendly to neighbors and helping each other out. It went downhill after the government ran out of money and didn't know where to turn to, so it turned on it's own people. Now the people have to bail their own government out. The average work salary went down 50%. Here, you work, and half of your pay goes to the government to bail them out. They also cut our pensions and SS by half. We know how to live off the land and we don't need processed food to eat like you do. I am tired of hearing idiots like you not really know what is going on over here. You think your so great, wait until this happens to you. Everyone in Europe gives it less than 5 years but China is banking on less than 2. China has already bought out American banks that you probably aren't aware of. We refuse to sell any of our islands to the Germans, we would rather die than go through that again. So good luck to you when China "bails" you out, which they already started to do, then you can joke about us.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:53 am |
      • Skeptic

        @allinwin88@yahoo.com: mark glicker is a greek. Why are you saying bad things about the US people?

        June 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
      • Mark Glicker

        So you do not want or appreciate the business? Fair enough, I will stick with the Spanish Oi.l

        June 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
      • esmiranda

        Lazy ignorant Americans? You have a personal knowledge of me and my intelligence level or work ethics? You know my eating habits as well? It is said that Greek olive oil is not bitter, but obviously the same cannot be said for it's citizens.

        June 4, 2012 at 2:10 am |
      • hannah01 in MI

        This was such a nice informative article on Greek olive oil. Think you could just stick to that subject?

        June 4, 2012 at 6:17 am |
        • Mark Glicker

          Things did go a bit awry quickly.

          June 4, 2012 at 11:03 am |
      • Truth-seeker

        Try the Greek olive oil and the Spanish as well. The KALAMATA IlLIADA brand black olives are a great snack and very healthy. Unfortunately guys, olives and Olive Oil will not solve the crisis sneaking up on all of us. Popeye the sailor man with a ton of spinach cant help either. Help your country, try to buy local products when you get a chance and treat yourselves to a delicacy now and then with the KALAMATA ILIADA olive oil and olives. It wont harm the US deficit and will probably help the Greeks to continue buying US products . . . Look after the US debt at ( http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/03/who-does-the-us-owe-money-to/ )

        June 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
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