Journal Travels

    Cretan olive groves & olive oil tasting

    September 21, 2016
    koroneiki olives

    For the last 6 years, I have been spending my summer holidays in Crete and, each time I have always brought back olive oil for my own consumption. It is one of my favorite olive oils to date! So this summer, once again I have carried back about 5 litters (mostly organic) from different estates around the island. Last week when I was at Ophelie’s for our photo session, I took the opportunity to organise a little tasting session (the more the merrier!). I was wondering if we would be able to notice the difference between the oils despite the fact that we are not olive oil ‘sommeliers’! I had brought my Greek olive oils plus one extra bottle I found in my Mother’s cupboard. It is from another region of Greece: Peloponnese.

    olive groves_crete

    Olive groves – Rethymno region

    olives ripening

    Koroneiki olive

    As you can see from the images below, we tried 8 different olive oils. Some are produced from small family estates and others from big groups that export internationally. I bought metal tins for ease of transport and rebottled the local one #1. They are extra virgin oils, five of which are organic and all are made from the Koroneiki olive, which is the most popular variety in Greece.

    olive oil tasting

    Tasting selection

    olve tree evening light

    Olive tree and evening light – Agia Galini

    olive groves messara

    Olive groves – Messara region

    olive groves sitia

    Olive trees – Sitia region


    All oils have their own taste and among the 7 Cretan oils, we could distinguish their subtleties however they pretty much all have a fresh herbal taste in comparison to the oil from Peloponnese, which has a citrus flavour #8. Some are spicy (#1, 2, 4 & 7), some others bitter (#2, 6 & 8), herbal (#2, 5, 6 & 7) and/or fruity (#3).

    olive oil tasting_makers

    Green colour palette

    Actually, I really enjoyed doing this informal degustation, being able to compare all of them at once and tasting the differences. Ophélie preferred the olive oil #4 from Creta Verde. As for me, I picked the one from Gaea Krista Fresh #5, which is a limited edition of olive oil, bottled from the first pressing within three hours of olives being harvested. All in all, they are of great quality; so if you are planning to go to Crete soon, make sure to allow for space in your suitcase to bring back a few bottles.

    Cretan olive tree

    Old olive tree – Agia Galini

    koroneiki olives

    Koroneiki olives


    Koroneiki olives

    Please note that all opinions expressed in this post are independent from any of the mentioned olive producers. All olive groves photos were taken in Crete.


    More olive oil news

    Olive News

    Olive Oil Times


    About other Greek olive varieties

    You can find more information here:

    The Olive table



    Where to shop

    In London and the UK

    Agora Greek Delicacies

    Athenian Grocery

    The Greek Larder

    The Greek Deli

    Hellenic Grocery

    Food Philosophy, 106 George Street, London W1U 8

    Isle of Olive

    My Olive Branch

    Maltby and Greek



    In Australia

    Check the blog Mulberry and Pomegranate for a list of delis in Sydney and Melbourne.


    In Paris and France



    Lakonis produits grecs


    Ulysse et cie


    Greece, Europe and beyond

    Ergon foods


    This list is not exhaustive and I am sure there are more great delis and online shops, so if you know some good ones, please share them here!

  • fougasse olive rosemary
    Bread Recipes

    Fougasse with olives and rosemary

    The fougasse is one of my favourite breads after the baguette. I love its olive oil taste and soft texture plus all the bits that add to its flavour: olives, cheese, anchovies, herbs, etc.…

    August 12, 2016
  • ikat hand weaving

    Discover Bali’s textile art: Ikat & Batik

    In this third post about Bali, I am going to take you to discover Bali’s textile art – Ikat & Batik. I have always been fascinated by hand crafted work, especially ceramics, but I…

    July 28, 2016
  • Birthday brownies

    Australian chewy macadamia nuts brownies

    These chewy macadamia nuts brownies have recently become my favourite recipe. I have never had a good brownies recipe up until now when I found this chewy fudge brownies recipe on the New York…

    July 22, 2016
  • Peanut sauce ingredients
    Cooking Travels

    Balinese cooking

    Discovering Bali would not have been complete without discovering its cuisine, so doing a Balinese cooking class was one activity I was looking forward to. I had found a few cooking schools on the web…

    July 20, 2016
  • Balinese offerings on the ground
    Road trip Travels

    daily rituals in Bali

    I am just back from my first trip to Bali where I spent eight days in Ubud. Those of you who follow me on instagram, have already seen a few pictures. After going through my…

    June 28, 2016
  • financiers rhubarb
    Recipes Tea cakes

    Almond friands

    Since my last post, I am catching up with posting photos and recipes (with the new format this time!) we have been working on with Mayumi for the last few weeks. It has been…

    June 23, 2016
  • spices-8741

    New blog design and other things!

    Last year in January, I started my blog again to give a new direction with food inspirations, recipes, cooking with friends and travels. After 15 months of posting, trying new recipes, leaving London to…

    June 7, 2016