Despite Greece’s long history with olives and olive oil, it’s hard to find high-quality, estate-bottled olive oil outside its borders. Part of the reason is tradition. Many Greeks press their own oil for personal consumption. They keep the best. The oil that’s exported is usually a hodgepodge blend of leftover olives made at a co-op. There might be high-quality olives in the mix, but their flavors are often overwhelmed by the flaws present in lower-grade fruit.
Not this oil. It’s a single-estate extra virgin olive oil, blended from Koroneiki and Zakynthos Dopia olives picked by hand and pressed within hours. It’s bottled unfiltered and has a pleasantly bitter, fresh and bright flavor.
Special thanks to Daphne Zepos, who introduced us to her sister, Amalia, who lives in Zakynthos, Greece. Amalia and her husband, Stathis, picked and pressed this oil on their organic farm.
The latest harvest, picked and pressed in fall 2012, is outstanding. It smells like olive tapenade, with roasty, nutty notes. The flavor is complex: green and grassy, nutty, floral, with a slow-creeping black pepper heat in the finish. I've been especially loving it poured over roasted vegetables.
Kokoraki means little rooster.