We spoke an Olive and Olive Oil Quality and Sensorial Evaluation expert on the board of the National Olive and Olive Oil Council to learn more.
- From light and floral to rich and fruity, #olive oil holds the secrets of its origin; the wind, soil, and sun permeating each and every olive. A single taste can conjure up images of coastal hills whipped by misty Aegean winds or hot and dry Anatolian plains. Many find that once they’ve tried aromatically fresh and fruity oil they can never go back, and while lesser grade varieties may be better for cooking, nothing can beat a drizzle of extra virgin for a finishing touch.
There are three types of olive oil as defined by the European Union and the Turkish Ministry of Food’s Olive Oil Guidelines:
1. Virgin Olive Oil:
Only goes through processes that do not alter its natural state (such as washing, decanting, centrifuging, and filtering) to keep its physical, chemical, and sensual qualities. It can be divided into two sub-groups:
The highest quality olive oil with superior fruity taste, lack of flavor or aroma faults, non-chemical processing, and high nutritional content.
Acidity level: up to 0.8g per 100g (0.8%)
Virgin Olive Oil:
Olive oil that is ready for fresh consumption. Acidity level: up to 2g per 100g (2%)
(If virgin olive oil is not fit for consumption because of its flavor or aroma it is defined as “Lampante” olive oil, and then either refined or used for industrial purposes.)
2. Refined Olive Oil:
Virgin oil that had flavor, aroma, color or facility faults but has been purified in refining facilities to make it fit for use in accordance with national and international guidelines.Acidity level: High: up to 0.3g per 100g (0.3%)
3- Olive Oil:
This is produced by blending 10-20% virgin with 80-90% refined oil and is the most widely consumed type of olive oil.
What are the main olive oil producing regions in Turkey? What are the differences in the olive oil they produce?
Aegean Region of Turkey
In Turkey, the motherland of olive trees, olive groves that produce the world’s most aromatic scents are cultivated in many regions from Ezine to Kilis. The Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean regions, as well as Southeastern Anatolia are the densest producing regions. The taste and beauty of olive oils are influenced by the quality of the soil, the weather, cultivation conditions, the olive pressing technology, the harvest, the type of harvest, and the storage conditions. All these factors play a part in creating the rich aromatic qualities of Turkish olive oils.
This means that the olive oils in every region, city, town, and even garden have unique aromas each year. The olive products become healthier and more nutritious with the right precautions, the right harvest time, and careful processing. With its infinitely exquisite taste, olive oil is a wondrous gift of nature, proudly presented to us.
The humid and steamy air blowing in from the North Aegean Sea blends with oxygen to create an ideal environment for the Ayvalık type olive, which can be found around the half-moon-shaped bay area including Ezine, Küçükkuyu, Edremit, Havran, Burhaniye, Ayvalık, and Zeytindağı. This atmosphere gives rise to various kinds of olive oils that have colors ranging from dark green to light yellow depending on the harvest time. The olives exhibit flavors of green almond, green plum, green apple, or grass and delectable aromas of olive leaf, which leave a pleasantly bitter taste in your mouth. These are the olive oils that are loved by many and receive first prizes around the world each year.
The Memecik variety found in the Southern Aegean region has a more intense, full-bodied flavor that leaves a lasting taste, similar to artichokes or tomatoes. Other extra virgin olive oils with various aromatic qualities can be found in South and Southeastern regions as well. Just like a symphony that is rewritten each year, every olive tree offers a whole range of special flavors.
• Keep olive oil in a dark bottle to ensure that antioxidants are not lost.
• The fruity taste of extra virgin olive oil can be lost at high temperatures, but olive oil releases its full aroma when it comes into contact with heat. To ensure you get the best of your oil, use a minimal amount when cooking, and afterwards just drizzle your favorite variety while the dish is still hot.
Our Olive Oil
Our Olives are cultivated by one of the most well known olive cultivators in Balikesir, with a history that stretches back to the Ayorya village of Crete where premium olive oil was exported to Europe until 1923 (after which the business was moved to Balikesir).
Big yellow crates arrive from the ancestral groves filled with a crowd of purple and green olives that flow into a device, separating them from their branches and leaves. The process that ensues is a bit of a science,
but judging from the inspiring olfactory waft of purely pressed olive overwhelming the air inside the small factory, the stainless steel machines are doing their jobs rather well.
Balikesir’s serenity could be one of the reasons why its famed olive oil tastes as unadulterated as the fruits of its origin. The city, formerly called Hadrianutherae by the Romans, rewards those who wander with remnants of old Roman and Greek villages in the form of winding cobblestoned streets lined with beautiful stone houses. There is a perfected balance within the hum of modern restaurants and shops and the rustle of olive trees in that picturesque backdrop worthy of an artistic mark.
Since the move to Balikesir, the perfected family practice has opened its first stores in Ayvalık, Izmir, and Istanbul and decorate the dishes of such many important restaurants.
Big yellow crates arrive from the ancestral groves filled with a crowd of purple and green olives that flow into a device that separates them from their branches and leaves. The process that ensues is a bit of a science, but judging from the inspiring olfactory waft of purely pressed olive overwhelming the air inside the small factory, the stainless steel machines are doing their jobs rather well. With a profoundly eco-friendly philosophy, olives are hand picked in order to avoid harm to them and the trees, and the factory is entirely self sufficient, with waste material sent away to be converted and used as fuel.
The outcome of it all are both olives for ready consumption (such as naturally cured black olives and naturally pickled green crushed olives) and olive oil (unfiltered and filtered extra virgin olive oil, or olive oil with fresh herbs), as well as sauces, tapenades, natural olive oil soaps, and more.
In a time of active awareness in terms of the origins of our consumable goods and the overall well-being of the natural world, MST Olive Oil is a thoughtful charm of taste and passionate purpose.