Flos Olei, the world's most comprehensive guide to the world's best extra virgin olive oils, voted Istria the best olive region in the world, Istrian County Tourist Board announced on March 5, 2016.
In its 2016 edition, Istria is the region with the largest number of included olive growers and oil producers, proving the exceptional quality of product originating from this Croatian region. More than 50 Istrian olive growers and producers are listed in this year's Flos Olei, which is published and edited by Marco Oreggia, journalist, critic and expert food and wine taster -with the collaboration of Laura Marinelli, also journalist and expert taster.
The grading methodology consists of a “rigorous” evaluation process of the olive oils presented by a panel of expert tasters through numerous tastings, as well as the development of a sensory profile of the samples. Only those extra virgin olive oils that are considered “suitable” can appear in each edition.
Istria now swapped places with Tuscany, a region that held the top spot in terms of the number of featured olive oil makers for the last several years. This is great news for all Istrian producers as the title will bring them extra publicity and quality points on the international market since more than 500 olive growers from 59 countries on continents were featured in this year's edition: „Each olive grower and olive oil producer wants to be featured in this publication. The guide is very objective when it comes to grading autochtonous characteristics and Istria has plenty of them, just take for instance our varieties bjankera, karbonaca and buža. Our producers have preserved them and used them in the best possible way“ – Tourist Board release states.