Meet the Producers: Terra CretaMr. Karpadakis, tell us what is so special about the island of Crete and specifically the area of Kolymvari
Crete is the largest island in Greece, 200klm long! Several aspects make it special:
- The micro-climate created between the sea and the “Lefka Ori” known as White Mountains, give us ideal conditions for the olive tree cultivation, where extra irrigation is not even necessary for some of the trees.
- The heritage in olive tree cultivation, extra virgin olive oil production, and olive oil gastronomy, is really strong, considering that some of the world’s oldest olive trees can be found in our region and still producing olives today
- Family owned and well cultivated olive groves, with respect to the nature and biodiversity, give us stability in production volume and a very good quality profile
- Continuous improvement in knowledge, practices and infrastructure in order to meet the requirements of the modern market, in terms of elevated quality profile and targeted communication
What is the most challenging part of production / harvesting?
The most challenging part is to keep a “happy” balance between the farmer, the consumer and the production of quality and quantity extra virgin olive oil.
How do you ensure that you have year on year such good Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
This is a very important question. We work intensively in two directions for that.
Firstly by cooperating closely with teams of farmers and agronomists, we are able to implement best practices in both cultivation and harvesting. As a result we get a healthy, intact and rich in natural ingredients olive fruit (olives), delivered fast to the olive mill for immediate extraction.
Furthermore continuous training within Terra Creta on the parameters that are affecting EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) quality along with everyday detailed quality evaluation of all EVOO batches before bottling, creates the assurance of both high quality and stability for Terra Creta products
Other than Extra Virgin Olive Oil, what other products do you produce, and perhaps can you share with us some hints of what is in the pipeline?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is still today our main product, however in our assortment we have a wide selection of Greek table Olives and balsamic vinegars from grapes, all available in organic and non-organic.
What do you think are the most common misconceptions?Good point. There are so many actually, however I am listing the most common:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is only for salads. FALSE - It’s been proven scientifically that EVOO is the best-ever oil, in terms of functionality and health benefits, for cooking and frying as well.
- I do not like the bitter or pungent taste of EVOO, I prefer something more flat in taste. FALSE - EVOO use is all about health benefits, elevated tasting experience, and environmental culture. Bitter and pungent characteristics are closely associated with some of the healthiest ingredients of EVOO, such as bio-phenols, or antioxidants. When we taste and use EVOO of high quality we expect to experience a level of bitter and pungent sensation.
- I am using light olive oil, I believe it is better. FALSE - The term light is describing only the taste, and usually applies to some refined (or processed) olive oils. Total calories are the same for all types of oils. Better to use only EVOO, which is the highest quality category, if you want to have all the health benefits and the lovely taste of a totally natural product.
Describe Terra Creta for us in 3 words.
Quality, Innovation, transparency
How much time an olive tree needs to produce one litre of Extra Virgin Olive Oil? (11 months)