Local foodOlives varieties of the world: Makri
Olive, the oldest known tree in the world
The history of the olive tree is profoundly rooted in human civilization, we can place its origins at the beginning of agricultural practice. The people from Crete, in Greece, were the first to tame the wild olive tree and start cultivating it in 3000 B.C.
Greece is the place blessed with growing olive oil trees. The perfect combination of climate, landscape, and soil help this beautiful Mediterranean country to deliver one of the best olive oils on Earth.
Greece has an abundance of olive varieties. Some are suitable for oil production such as the high-quality Koroneiky variety, while others are only suitable as table olives, such as the well-known Kalamata.
In this article, we will talk about an extraordinary olive variety that grows only in a particular part of Greece. Olive oil producers can make a coveted, high-quality oil out of this variety.
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Indigenous Olive of a Greek variety, Makri
The Makri is an olive variety native to the southeast region of Greece, Thrace. This zone provides a particular microclimate. In this area, Makri olive trees benefit from the humid, salty air of the Egeo sea breeze, and cold northern winds.
These extraordinary climatic conditions alongside a unique soil structure, favor the conception of an olive oil with special characteristics. This single variety of extra virgin olive oil presents a predominantly fruity character with hints of fresh green olives, green banana, artichokes, and freshly cut grass.
Spicy tones balance a bitter taste, making this olive oil a symphony of flavours.
The native Makri olive receives PDO recognition
In 2018, Makri olive oil, which comes from a millennial old variety, was granted the recognition of Protected Designation of Origin by the European Committee.
The local agriculture center took over three years to gather all the data and information to approve its application to PDO.
Their research found evidence that dates the use of Makri olives to 3,000 years ago, when this native olive was first discovered.
Today the annual production of Makri olive oil is anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 tons, the new PDO accounts for about 220,000 Makri olive trees.
Greek olive variety: Harvest Kyklopas Estate
Artisan olive oil producers in Greece
Indigenous olives can only survive with the work of unrelenting olive oil producers.
Kyklopas is one of the finest olive oil producers in Greece. This estate is located in the village of Makri, 12 km northwest of Alexandroupolis, and it’s run by the Keilidi family which has been producing olive oil for three generations.
They take care of 12,000 native Makri olive trees and 2,000 of them are organically cultivated. This olive oil producer follows all aspects of the production, from the start of growth on the olive plantation to the bottling of oil.
They ensure that the quality of one of the most celebrated olive oils in Greece is in perfect condition when exported to the 24 foreign countries that enjoy this delicacy.
Kyklopas Estate offers visitors an unforgettable olive oil experience. A tour here starts at the olive mill, continues to the production facilities, and ends with a tasting of the entire range of products they make. You will have a real chance to nurture your knowledge on how quality olive oils are made.
An Olive Oil region replete with culture
Touching centenary olive trees with your own hands is not the only amazing experience you can experience when visiting this area.
Throughout Eastern Macedonia and Thrace is a region full of history. From the ancient Greeks to the Persians, and again from The Roman Empire to the Byzantine, until the conquering of the Ottomans, this region has seen more than its share of changing cultures both in the past, as well as in recent times (Russo-Turkish war, the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars and the First World War). Here, one will experience a rich cultural heritage combined with the unique beauty of this territory.
The two islands, Samothrace and Thassos, combine beautiful beaches and wild mountains. Samothrace is also well known for its famous “vathres”, natural pools formed in the rocks with crystal clear and deep waters.
Cities such as Alexandroupoli, Komotini, and Xanthi are a melting pot of different cultures where visitors can admire traditional buildings with distinctive architecture. Here, groups from two religions, Christian orthodox and Muslim, live together and coexist.
One of the most impressive natural wonders flaunted by the region is the Aggitis cave. It is one of the longest caves in the world; it runs for 21 km where waters and stalagmites enrich a magical landscape.
We love to write about good producers around the world because we will always end up discovering fascinating places.
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