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Contact Info

8th Km National Road Larissa Sykourio
P.O. Box 1127, Greece

+30 2410 57 50 92
+30 2410 57 50 93

OLIVES SECTOR: olivexport@intercomm.gr

FRUIT SECTOR: fruitsales@intercomm.gr

HUMAN RESOURCES: prosopiko@intercomm.gr

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Greek olive varieties

There are three major varieties of Greek olives that are used in all of Delphi products:

The Green olive
The Kalamata olive
The Black olive

The Green olive:

Green Halkidiki olives are grown in the
peninsula of Halkidiki region of northern
Greece. The deep blue of the Aegean
Sea, the bright sun and the fertile Greek
land created these impressive and tasty
table olives.
Green “Amfissa” olives are an excellent
quality Greek table olive grown in Amfissa,
Central Greece near the oracle of
Delphi. Amfissa olives enjoy protected
designation of origin (PDO) status.

The Kalamata olive:

Kalamata olives with their brownish-black
color and their characteristic “almond”
shape have a unique and splendid taste
from all other olive varieties of the world.
The Kalamata olives grow only in specific
regions of Greece, in limited quantity, so
they are considered a very special product.
Kalamata olives are produced using traditional
lactic acid fermentation, and no colouring
is added during the process. This
is one of the main reasons why the
Greek-produced olives have been distinguishable
from Spanish olives by their
substantially lighter and more varied
colour. On the contrary, Spanish olives
have a uniform black colour because of
the artificial colouring used.

The Black olive:

Black natural olives are grown in various
places in Greece, mainly in Central and
West Greece (Agrinio, Amfissa, Arta,
Lamia, Pilio).
They are also called conservoelia (Olea
europaea var. Rotund) and they usually
take the name of the place where they
grow. The shape of the olive is quite
round and one of the biggest of Greek
olive varieties. Another characteristic of
the conservoelia olives is the their color
variation according to their maturity. The
color varies from green, “blonde” to black,
while they are renown for their excellent
quality.

Greek olives are distinguished by Spanish olives due to their bigger size and richer content of olive oil.
A commonly used classification of olives is the following:

Size Pieces of olives / kg

 

ATLAS 70-90
SUPER MAMMOUTH91-100
MAMMOUTH 101-110
SOUPER COLOSSAL111-120
COLOSSAL121-141

 

GIANTS141-160
EXTRA JUMBO161-180
JUMBO181-200
EXTRA LARGE201-230
LARGE231-260

 

SUPERIOR 261-290
BRILLIANT 291-320
FINE 321-350
BULLETS 351-380

The olive tree

The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean
region and Western Asia. The cultivation of olive
trees began more than 7000 years ago.

In Greece archeological evidence suggests that olives were
grown commercially in Crete since 3000BC making them the
major source of the wealth of the Minoan civilization. The success
of the Minoans led other Greek regions to start experimenting
with the cultivation of the olive tree and by the time of
Homer, the whole area surrounding the Aegean sea was filled
with olive groves. By that time the olive tree had become sacred
for Greeks. During the Olympic Games all victors were crowned
with an olive-branch wreath called “KOTINOS”.

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The olive tree

The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean
region and Western Asia. The cultivation of olive
trees began more than 7000 years ago.

In Greece archeological evidence suggests that olives were
grown commercially in Crete since 3000BC making them the
major source of the wealth of the Minoan civilization. The success
of the Minoans led other Greek regions to start experimenting
with the cultivation of the olive tree and by the time of
Homer, the whole area surrounding the Aegean sea was filled
with olive groves. By that time the olive tree had become sacred
for Greeks. During the Olympic Games all victors were crowned
with an olive-branch wreath called “KOTINOS”.

There are six natural subspecies of olive
trees distributed over a wide area:

Olea europaea subsp. europaea (Mediterranean Basin)
Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata (from South Africa
throughout East Africa, Arabia to South West China)
Olea europaea subsp. guanchica (Canaries)
Olea europaea subsp. cerasiformis (Madeira)
Olea europaea subsp. maroccana (Morocco)
Olea europaea subsp. laperrinei (Algeria, Sudan, Niger)

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Harvest and
Process

Olives are harvested in autumn and winter. More specifically,
green olives are picked at the end of September until the
middle of November. Blond olives are picked from the middle
of October until the end of November. Black olives are collected
from the middle of November until the end of January
or early February.
1. Most olives today are harvested by shaking
the boughs or the tree.
2. Another method involves standing on a ladder and “milking”
the olives into a sack tied around the harvester’s waist.
Table olive varieties are more difficult to harvest, as workers
must take care not to damage the fruit; baskets that hang
around the worker’s neck are used.
In some places in Italy and Greece, olives are harvested by
hand because the terrain is too mountainous for machines. As
a result, the fruit is not bruised, which leads to a superior finished
product. The method also involves sawing off branches,
which is healthy for future production.
Olives are naturally bitter fruits that are typically subjected to
fermentation or cured with lye or brine to make them more
palatable.
Green olives and black olives are typically washed thoroughly
in water to remove oleuropein, a bitter carbohydrate. Green
olives are allowed to ferment before being packed in a brine
solution.
Olives can also be flavored by soaking them in various marinades,
or removing the pit and stuffing them.