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Elea Artisan Olive Oil
by Loutraki Oil Co
This is particularly high quality oil, on the Bottle it says THE FINEST ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OIL IN THE WORLD. I don’t know if that is true but it is up there. It could very well be the ﬁnest available in New Zealand today, certainly the best I’ve tasted in many years of hospitality and Olive Oil has been an interest of mine at least since the late 1980s.
The estate on which this wonderful oil is produced, lies in the sun drenched hills of Greece’s Mani Peninsula. Owned by the Katsetos family since 1860, the land produces a superlative oil which is exported in small amounts around the world.
“This oil is luscious and soft with a full, round body and a strong fruity nose. With hints of papaya and distinct ﬂoral notes, it evokes ﬁelds of buttercups and long summer days” (description from judges at the many international competitions where the Elea has won awards). I concur! The variety of olives used for this fabulous oil is Koroneiki. Considered in Greece to be the BEST olive for oil, it is very small with a large seed.
The location of the trees is in both Sparta and Corinth in the south east area of the Peloponnese, speciﬁcally known as the Mani Peninsula.
Since ancient times these two adjoining areas have been very highly regarded for olive oil, Sparta being more robust and the more barren Corinth being ‘gentler and softer’, blended together this makes a truly outstanding Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The Style Guide – The Telegraph – Olive Oil Tasting panel 11/02/11 said “The most sought after
Greek oils come from the Mani Peninsula in Kalamata and are pressed from Koroneki Olives – subtle and delicious.”
Elea Olive Oil was characterised as among the three most outstanding Greek cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oils in the
book “The Flavours of Olive Oil “ written by the US author Deborah Krasner (Sept 2002). And it was voted among the
three most outstanding speciﬁcally for its ﬂavour. She describes the oil as “Golden green in colour, this organic estate bottled oil is fragrant and complex. We loved
its underlying sweetness, with earthy, peppery, honey notes. A good dark bottle preserves ﬂavour.”
In ancient times olive oil was considered a medicine before a food. It healed and aided almost anything from coughs to heart and skin problems. The people from this part of the Peloponnese are known to be the longest lived group on earth, probably based on the very low number of Heart problems. Olive oil is believed to be very beneﬁcial for the skin.
Elea Olive Oil is a true Artisan oil, as the estate is small and family owned, the trees are tended and harvested with great care. Only traditional methods are used.
The oil is pressed/ milled at low temperatures as this ensures the maximum ﬂavour and full body composition is retained. The term is COLD PRESSED. Some other milling/ mixing methods can reach 50 Celsius. The fruit is processed within 24 hours of picking, this timing is crucial as quality in the pick fruit drops very quickly. Bigger companies leave the fruit in large silos for long periods before pressing.
Elea Oil is unﬁltered – many health experts believe that lots of the natural goodness is lost with ﬁltering. Elea is racked repeatedly allowing the sediment to sink to the bottom rather than to ﬁlter it.
Elea Oil is registered with the US FDA, backed by the security and quality controls in accordance with EU speciﬁcation
and includes PDO/DOP, Kosher Parve and Organic /BIO certiﬁcates. Elea Oils exceed all international speciﬁcations in quality and safety. This is very important as there have been great problems with adulterated oil from the Mediterranean, including Italy. Even some very well known companies are involved and some very famous Italian businessmen are looking at jail. EvenLUPI, a well known brand in New Zealand, failed to meet minimum stands for the extra virgin name. (Foodnews. co.nz 30/05/2011). Other Oils that failed to meet the standards included, Bertolli, La Espagnola and Casa Barolli – all respected
The Elea ORGANIC /BIO certiﬁed oil is particularly good. The current season (2013) medal successes in International Competitions are:
FACTS ABOUT OLIVE OIL
expensive in the country, but we really want to share this wonderful product. Mr Athanasios Katsetos who produces the oil has a similar philosophy.
Scientiﬁc American 2013) identiﬁes that “catch” sensation at the back of the throat with a good quality extra virgin oil is Brufen the most widely useanti-inﬂammatory in modern medicine.
Bitterness is often associated with the presence of antioxidants.
I think the Fruity is just all about the taste.
Extra Virgin – The highest grade of olive oil – according to standards established by the IOC, the EU and other governing bodies – must meet a series of chemical requirements (free fatty acidity of 0.8% or lower, peroxides at less than 20 millequivalents per KG etc) and be able to pass a panel test which demonstrates both that it possesses some detectable level of olive fruitiness and that it is free from taste ﬂaws. I’ve already referred above to the testing done by the Australian consumer organisation Choice in 2011 where 50% failed to meet minimum label standards, including Lupi Extra Virgin. The main report was based on sensory evaluation by an IOC accredited panel and the NSW Govt Department of Industry,
only one imported oil passed the grade taste wise but was then rejected for failing to meet IOC minimum standard for Extra Virgin (foodnews.co.nz 30/05/11). Of course many of these oils are available in NZ. Let the buyer beware – just because it’s in a fancy bottle and at a high price doesn’t mean it’s
any good. The recent book by Robert Mueller is astounding in documenting the corruption and deceit involved in the international olive oil industry,
Acidity Elea has an acidity of 0.2% to 0.26% and well under 20 millequivalents per KG and over the years won many medals and awards. It is cholesterol free and contains no harmful chemicals, hormones, colour additives, preservatives or pesticides. The quality control logos are all proudly displayed on the tin.
The acidity (Free Fatty Acidity) acceptable level of 0.8% is probably far too high and excellent oils should be under 0.5%.This really is a prime indication of the oil quality.
Smoke Point is the heat at which olive oil or any other fat or oil begins to produce an acrid, bluish smoke. This
event signals the degradation of the ﬂavour and nutritional characteristics so care should be taken to keep the temperature below the smoke point of the oil. A common misconception is that high quality olive oil has a low smoke point and so should be used only for salads and the like. I remember reading that Peter Gordon (probably New Zealand’s most highly regarded chef) uses Extra Virgin for everything, I’m the same. I love the way it cooks, I love the taste.
Italian cooking sometimes calls for deep fried, the oil taste should be delicate so a vegetable oil is used, everything else the best quality Olive Oil you can ﬁnd. Further research has shown that the higher the quality of the oil (in particular), the lower the acidity, the higher the smoke point. Fine oils have a smoke point around 210 degrees Celsius.
As Mr Katsetos says, “Elea Extra Virgin Olive Oil Collections of Sparta and Corinth, The world’s most famous, tasteful, nutritious and heart healthy olive oil brand!!”