Friday, 15 July 2022

Postira Olive Oil Made from Wild Olives Winning Gold Medals

July the 15th, 2022 - Postira olive oil made from totally wild olives is earning recognition and winning gold medals. Teo Santic from Postira on the Central Dalmatian island of Brac is one person who has got stuck into this way of doing things.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the story of wild olives was practically forgotten in Croatia, but scientists, experts and other enthusiastic olive growers are bringing it back to the present day and saving it from being totally lost to the often cruel hands of time, reports HRT.

"A wild olive is any olive produced from a seed, i.e. by generative propagation. Within the entire population of wild olives, we distinguish two subgroups, one is the original true wild olive, which are very difficult to find, because they're a far cry from the cultivated ones. Another variant is the so-called ''seed type'', these are olives that also came from seeds, but are the typically the product of a cross between cultivated olives and wild ones,'' explained Dr. Tatjana Klepo.

Teo Santic produces Postira olive oil, he's very much an innovator at heart and he wanted to create something a little bit different, so he decided to restore the process of using wild olives, and now he has about seventy of them.

"I've been making olive oil for ten years now and every year it's been getting better and better, and last year and the year before last, when I had the best possible option for that oil, I won a gold medal," said Teo Santic, the creator of Postira olive oil which stands out from the rest.

Wild olives can be distinguished by their leaves, which are small, thin and prickly branches, and by the fruit, which is small and has very little pulp from which the oil is squeezed.

"That's why they're not cultivated, because they don't have a large amount of oil in the olives, somewhere between five and seven percent can be obtained on average," added Santic.

Wild olive oil is something completely new and different, and it has been very much forgotten about in Croatia, despite its long tradition of making olive oil all along the coast and on the islands. It's tasty, a little tart, but extremely high quality. Despite the fact that these wild olives were forgotten on neglected areas and that they were included in the proper programme only ten years ago, they definitely have their importance.

"They are like a reservoir of genes for resistance; drought resistance, genetic resistance to diseases, both against those diseases which are already present and those that are yet to come, resistance to a whole hosts of parasites and pests, to a whole series of factors that can or have already affected olive growers in the production process,'' said Klepo when explaining how important it is that people like Teo Santic and his Postira olive oil are bringing the use of wild olives back from the brink.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Croatian Olive Oil Wows in New York, 3rd in World in Terms of Quality

May the 28th, 2022 - Croatian olive oil's top quality is recognised throughout the world and has won countless awards in numerous prestigious international competitions. Croatian olive oil has once again wowed in the Big Apple, with Croatia being placed third in terms of the quality of its much loved produce.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at the recently held New York International Olive Oil Competition, NYIOOC World, Croatia came in third place in terms of the number of medals won, right after Italy and Spain, as reported by Maslina/Olive.

Croatia has outdone itself when it comes to its olive oil yet again by coming third, as last year the country came fourth in this, the largest and most prestigious olive oil competition held in Manhattan, right in the middle of New York, Croatian olive oil also overtook the USA, leaving the Americans in 4th place.

In addition, Croatia is the best in terms of the percentage of success of its reported olive oils. Out of 112 registered samples from across Croatia, 96 of them received medals, representing 86 percent of success, and this is by far the best performance of olive oil from all countries that registered more than 40 of their samples.

Croatian olive oils won a total of 96 medals, of which 66 were gold and 27 were silver. Dalmatian olive growers won the most medals for the Republic of Croatia with their oils - a total of 55 medals.

Admittedly, the highest number of gold medals for Croatia was won, unsurprisingly, by the Istrians this year. Last year the Dalmatians took that place. The Dalmatians won 29 gold medals, while the Istrians took home 37.

Olive growers from Zadar County won a total of 11 awards, of which seven were gold medals and four were silver. Gold: Lepur (2), Bovan, Plastic, Lalin, Vulin and Morovic. Silver: Dr. Vlatkovic (2), Skopic and OP-Ko-milfa.

Olive oils from all over the world competed in this New York competition, and a total of 543 gold and 257 silver medals were awarded globally.

In terms of the number of medals won, Italy came first place with 158 medals, followed by Spain with a total of 128 medals, Croatia took third place with 96 medals, the United States came in fourth place with 94 medals and Greece landed fifth place.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Šibenik Catholic School Olive Oil Wins Gold in New York!

May 7, 2022 - Šibenik Catholic school olive oil returned to Croatia with a gold medal at the NYIOOC world competition in New York!

While some may be surprised by this news, the Šibenik Catholic school olive oil connoisseurs believe it was expected, writes Šibenski.hr.

In the competition of oil mills from Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Turkey, New Zealand, Japan, USA, Israel, Tunisia, China, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Lebanon and about twenty oil mills from Croatia, Šibenik was declared the best. Around 1,174 samples were submitted to the competition, which proves that the Šibenik Catholic school produces world-renowned oil.

This whole story is even better because the olive grove is cared for by children through the school cooperative "Školjka". Of course, all with the mentorship of more experienced school employees, primarily the school janitor, Marko Rupić, who spends most of his time in the olive grove, and Šime Petrović, head of accounting, who is in charge of coordinating harvesting and processing.

"There are currently 311 students in the school," says the school principal, sister Mandica Starčević, who revealed the olive grove was once part of the military barracks.

"The whole school is included in the cooperative. In addition to the cooperative, we have several extracurricular activities that allow students to develop their knowledge according to their interests. We also have home economics, robotics, art group and many others. The pandemic has slowed us down a bit in all this, but now we are slowly returning to the usual rhythm," claims the director.

The first trees in the school olive grove were planted almost 30 years ago by soldiers, as there used to be a barracks where the school is located. Then, with the construction of a new part of the school about 13 years ago, the school staff planted new trees, which, it turned out, gave an excellent yield and even better oil.

"Then we planted new plantations, about 110 trees, and now there are about 170 in the olive grove. This year we had a slightly lower yield, but there were years when we knew how to harvest up to three tons of olives. So although the yield was not at the expected level, the oil was of the highest quality," says Šime Petrović, a school employee who, along with the caretaker, Marko, is most responsible for the olive grove.

If it weren't for Ante Duvnjak from the St. John oil mill in Vodice, Petrović claims, they wouldn't have sent their oil to a competition in New York.

"I must emphasize this: he took the initiative, and we agreed to participate in the competition at his urging. He sent samples of olive oil from all over Croatia to the competition, not just ours. The other thing I have to point out is our elementary students. Their involvement and enthusiasm around the olive groves is wonderful; that is the essence of everything," adds Petrović.

The olive grove is dominated by only one variety, oblica. However, the school janitor Marko Rupić said that he is extremely grateful for this. 

"As far as cultivation is concerned, these are olives of exclusively organic origin. We do not use any chemicals and preparations, which nature does. I think that is partly why our oil is so high quality," says Rupić.

"I spend a lot of time in the olive grove because it is a large area. In addition to olives, I also take care of regular mowing, which requires time and effort. We bought a few fruit seedlings, and we may also plan to plant a small vineyard; we will see; one or two more pairs of hands would not be out of the question," Rupić said.

Parasites and irrigation in the olive grove are two problems this hard-working janitor faces. The first problem will be solved by planting lavender, which is known to repel parasites from trees, while the second has yet to find a solution. 

"Parasites and diseases have never been as they are now. We do not use any chemicals; although it might be easier to maintain and protect olives with them, we will not give up on organic farming. All the water that olives get is from what I water or rainwater, and irrigation would be essential to us," concludes Rupić.

The school also does not sell their olive oil and uses it primarily for their own needs or pass it on to those who need it. For example, a group of students arrived from Norway, France and Spain and recently received a bottle as a souvenir. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Kulen, Prosciutto and Olive Oil Most Recognizable Croatian Products

January 5, 2022 - Key ingredients of the Mediterranean diet are becoming the most recognizable Croatian products in the world.

The pandemic and stagnation in the world market have further emphasized the need for Croatia to focus on its food production. This is especially true for meat and meat products. Nevertheless, the potential certainly exists because according to the calculation of the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb, in 2018, the self-sufficiency of the Republic of Croatia in meat production amounted to 70.64%, reports T.portal

Croatian Member of the European Parliament and negotiator of the EPP Group for the Committee Opinion on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection on the 'Field to Table' Strategy, Tomislav Sokol, managed to fight for the protection of traditional Croatian products such as kulen and prosciutto.

"The European Union is determined to make the food system healthier and more sustainable. This does not mean giving up our traditional meat products such as Slavonian kulen and Istrian or Dalmatian prosciutto. Moreover, I am sure that our products, known for their top quality and traditional production methods, do not threaten citizens' health. As a member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, and as a rapporteur for European citizens, I intervened in the text of the Opinion on the European Commission's Field-to-Table Strategy to protect the production of traditional Croatian products," says Tomislav Sokol.

Croatia has significant production potential in this sector, which opens new economic and development perspectives, especially for the Croatian countryside. Europe must become self-sufficient in producing quality and healthy food, and Croatian agriculture and the food industry must be integral elements of this system.

Sokol ensured that the Mediterranean diet does not qualify as unhealthy in that Strategy. Namely, other political groups in the European Parliament agreed on the text of the Opinion, which would label European, and thus the Mediterranean diet, unhealthy. However, during the negotiations on the specific amendment, Sokol insisted on changing the text of this act, which would mark the European and Mediterranean diet as unhealthy.

"I must admit that I was quite surprised when I noticed in the text that our diet was to be declared unhealthy. Flat and unfounded claims must not occupy space in official documents of the European Parliament. From the beginning, I was clear in my position, and I am glad that I was able to convince other fellow Members of my position. We are proud of our Mediterranean lifestyle and diet that includes the use of fresh foods, fish, fruits and vegetables, and essential olive oil," explains Sokol.

It should be reminded that the 'Field to Table' Strategy defines key priorities for setting up a sustainable and healthy food system, and the fact that the Action Plan accompanying the Strategy envisages the adoption of 27 legislative and non-legislative acts until 2024 shows how complex the implementation of this Strategy will be.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 3 January 2022

Croatian Olive Oil Prices to Rise Above 100 Kuna This Year?

January the 3rd, 2022 - Could Croatian olive oil prices rise above 100-110 kuna in 2022? Due to several factors which have contributed to their yield, it seems that could well be the case.

As Slobodna Dalmacija/Misel Kalajzic writes, in Zadar County, the olive harvest for 2021 failed when compared to 2020, especially in the continental and island part of northern Dalmatia, while in the coastal part it being considered to be satisfactory.

The reason for this is primarily the very low temperatures that affected the area during the early part of the month of April (more precisely from the 7th to the 9th of April 2021, when unusual temperatures of up to minus nine degrees Celsius were recorded), and unfavourable conditions at the time of flowering (mainly due to bura wind).

''The estimated yield of olive fruit for the year 2021 is about 2800 tonnes and 3220 hectolitres of oil. The crop is healthy. Harvesting and processing began in the second half of October and so far almost the entire crop has been processed,'' as was explained by B.Sc. Gordana Dragun, Head of Agronomy, Head of the Zadar Service in the Directorate for Professional Support to Agricultural Development.

How much the past year has failed in terms of Croatian olive oil can be seen in comparison with the data from the 2019/2020 season. At that time, 5,500 tonnes of olives were harvested in Zadar County, and 6,600 hectolitres of olive oil were produced, which is almost twice as much as last year.

In Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, 700 tonnes were harvested at that time, in Sibenik-Knin County 1800 tonnes were harvested, in Istria County 4600, in Dubrovnik-Neretva County 6000 tonnes, and in Split-Dalmatia County, as much as 17 thousand tonnes of traditional Mediterranean oilseeds were harvested.

Back in October 2020 alone, 3,515 tonnes were harvested in Zadar County, ie 4,018 hectolitres of oil were produced, and a month later another 3,500 tonnes were removed from the trees and 4,000 hectoliress of oil were obtained from them. Last October, only 800 tonnes were harvested, and in November, 1,200 tonnes of olives were obtained.

In the northern part of the island of Pag (more specifically in Lun and Novalja), which administratively belong to Lika-Senj County, the olive harvest in 2020 failed and a mere 15 tonnes were harvested, all of them coming from the area of ​​Novalja. In Lun, due to the drought that was present in the winter of 2019/20, from spring until June, there was no fertilisation at all.

In Zadar County, despite the hail on May the 2nd, 2020 and the declaration of a natural disaster in the city of Benkovac, as well as a hurricane in the western part of the county (Razanac, Krneza), that year was marked by abundant flowering. Good fertilisation and timely rainfall resulted in a solid olive year there.

Obviously, 2021 will be a year to forget for Zadar's many disappointed olive growers. Croatian olive oil prices are likely to jump as well as a result of all of these factors, but 2020's stocks will also be depleted, as not all processed quantities have been sold yet due to the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic (and the tourist season).

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 29 October 2021

2021 Croatian Olive Harvest in Full Swing, Oil Prices Could Rise Up to 50%

October 29, 2021 - The 2021 Croatian olive harvest is in full swing, though oil prices this year could rise by 50% since fewer olives were harvested this season. 

This year's olive harvest did not yield the best results, so olive oil prices could rise up to 50 percent, Slobodna Dalmacija reports on Friday.

The olive harvest in some olive groves is still ongoing, while some traditionally wait for All Saints' Day. In other groves, there is nothing to pick. A cold front after Easter thinned the fruits in the spring when some olive groves were covered with snow. In Dalmatia, 50 percent fewer olives are harvested this season than last year. Since Istrian olive groves have not fared any better, olive growers are announcing higher oil prices - up to 50 percent in Istria.

"The yields and quality of the oil are better than last year, only this year there will be less. This is because when the flower was supposed to turn into fruit, there was a storm and low temperatures, and after that, there was no water, and these are essential components for olives," explains Denis Benčić from Fažana.

Last year's average price of extra virgin olive oil in Istria was around 100 kuna, and now prices of up to 150 kuna are expected.

"It will be better," says Rade Bobanović of Polače, also president of the 'Maslina i Vino' agricultural cooperative.

"As it is, so it is. There is no joy in the olive groves, but we will not grieve either," adds Bobanović. Climate change is taking its toll; the only thing is that workers are now happier because their pay is higher and they harvest less, he jokes, pointing out that last year he paid pickers earned 2.20 kn per kilogram of olives, and now he pays about 4 kuna.

"If they were paid per kilogram, they would not get even 100 kuna per day," he added, noting that the yield per tree is 30 percent lower than last year, which was also one of the worst, and not even 30 percent compared to the average olive potential. Depending on the micro-location, for example, some places bore fruit above average, some not at all. On the Biograd coast, the branches shoot from the genus, and in the Benkovac area, which is often significant in terms of yield, it is decimated.

"Yields, however, are better everywhere than last year, which means that the oil will be of exceptional quality. But anyway, it is calculated that we are lucky if we have an ideal harvest every fourth or at least every sixth year," said Bobanović.

His olive groves are also organic, even more demanding and expensive to maintain. However, in Croatia, organic extra virgin olive oil is not yet perceived as better quality than that obtained in commercial or integrated production, so the price of all these Dalmatian oils is the same.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Brac Locals Collect Over 1,500 Liters of Olive Oil for COVID-19 Health Workers in Croatia

December 15, 2020 - In ten days, Brac locals collected 1,515 liters of homemade olive oil for health workers in Croatia on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus. A huge success!

The idea came from Sutivan, and it was accepted by all Brac municipalities and the Tourist Board, which organized the action, reports 24 Sata.

Brac locals thus donated the most valuable thing they have, oil from their olive groves, which came from all corners of the island.

After consultations with the largest Croatian COVID hospital in Dubrava, the oil will be delivered to several medical centers throughout Croatia.

To make the gift to Croatian health workers even more beautiful, all the labels on the bottles were painted by students from elementary schools and Brac kindergartens:

"We wanted to brighten up the holidays for those who have the hardest time fighting this pandemic, and that is our doctors, nurses, and other medical staff."

An announcement from the Bol Tourist Board on November 30: 

"To make the holiday season more cheerful, a humanitarian action was launched where Brac citizens can donate their olive oil to the Clinical Hospital Centers in Croatia, or to the hardworking people who work in them, especially in these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. All towns on the island of Brac are included in the action, and the Tourist Boards take over the coordination," announced the Municipality of Bol Tourist Board.

"If you want to participate in this humanitarian action 'Brac oil for hardworking people' (or in the Brac dialect, 'Bročko uje za vridne jude'), please bring the amount of olive oil you would like to donate (minimum 1 liter) to the Tourist Board of Bol office, from Monday, November 30, 2020, to Friday, December 4, 2020, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.

It would be best if the oil is packaged in glass, but it is not necessary. Place your labels on the packaging, and if you don't have any, the children from the "Little Prince" Kindergarten will draw them for you for this occasion.

After the collection is completed, olive oil will be distributed to the Clinical Hospital Centers in Croatia, and we will, of course, inform you about the exact destinations and quantities.

Let our oil bring joy and make the holidays more beautiful for all who care about our health and to all who, unfortunately, will spend these holidays separated from their loved ones.

"A heartfelt thank you to everyone who will respond to this truly commendable action!" the Bol Tourist Board said on November 30. 

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Croatian Olive Oil Impresses Once Again at London IOOC Competition

Croatian olive oil is among the very best in the world, and as Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of July, 2020, for the second year in a row, the Ol Istria Olive Oil Selection won a gold medal in the quality category at the prestigious world olive oil competition London International Olive Oil Competitions, and in the same category Ol Istria Picholine oil won silver.

Thus, the Croatian olive oil from Agrolaguna returned from international competitions once again with awards that prove its continuous top quality and recognition on the world's olive oil scene. Namely, London's IOOC is one of the largest and most respectable competitions in all of Europe, and in the competition this year, a total of 657 olive oils from as many as 25 countries were registered. In the quality category in which Ol Istria oils won medals, as many as 511 oils competed.

"We always emphasise that the success of Ol Istria olive oils lies in the controlled process from the beginning to the end of production as well as the knowledge that is built into the processing - from olive groves through fruit to oil production. Agrolaguna produces an average of about 150 tonnes of extra virgin olive oil every year, and the share of extra virgin olive oil under the Ol Istria brand, which consists of a blend of varieties, in the total production of Agrolaguna, stands at 98 percent. In addition to numerous awards, a great confirmation of the quality of Istrian olive oils is the fact that it was recognised by the Italian "bible" of extra virgin olive oils, Flos Olei, which declared Istria the best olive growing region in the world five times in a row. However, what is even more important than the fact that the quality of our oils is again recognised by certified oleologists in international juries, the high level of quality of our oils is also recognised by our consumers,'' said Vlado Condic Galinicic, the director of Agrolaguna.

Otherwise, Agrolaguna has the largest olive grove in all of Croatia, spread over a total of 220 hectares and five locations by the sea where 65,000 olive trees grow.

"In addition to the fact that the olives are grown in excellent locations, the basis for our top quality extra virgin olive oil are the hand-picked and undamaged fruits which are processed within 12 hours after having been harvested. The Ol Istria brand received a certificate of controlled designation of origin for its extra virgin olive oil, ZOI Istra, which implies the strict control of olives having an exclusively Istrian origin, only selected varieties, processed in a short time at a maximum temperature of 27 °C and stored in controlled temperature conditions. Ol Istria Selection is an extra virgin olive oil obtained by selecting several olive varieties. In addition, all varieties have a specific taste, aroma and intensity, so that the oils, like wine, can be combined with different dishes,'' explained Milan Budinski of Agrolaguna.

For more on Croatian olive oil, follow Made in Croatia.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Grubić Family Produce 6000 Bottles of Istrian Olive Oil Per Year

Croatian olive oil, particularly that from Istria, is known and respected worldwide as among the best on the planet. Having received numerous awards and recognitions, any lover of this golden liquid (the type that isn't beer, that is), should make sure to pay this stunning region of Croatia a visit.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of June, 2019, in the very heart of olive oil heaven, also known as Istria, lies a sort of elixir of life - virgin olive oil. The Grubić family has been manufacturing and processing such olive oil for several decades and continues to introduce yet more new trends in this competitive industry.

The story of the olive oil made in Bale, Istria, dates back to 1927, as Emanuel Grubić, owner of the oil mill, told Poslovni Dnevnik, describing the date when the first "modern" oil mill was built, which remained in operation for a further 38 years.

It was eventually closed back in 1965, but the Grubić family halted its decay and dilapidation, purchased it and renewed it during the 1990's, and so preserved the rest of the line. There was no complete restoration, but the past and the future of Istrian olive oil and olive growing as a whole can be looked into further within the building's museum, which showcases old exhibits with stone mills, presses, hydraulic pumps and more.

There is also the modern Pieralisi olive processing plant. The museum and the new part are divided by a glass door, behind which lies the ''new'' olive oil experience.

Today, the family from Bale, Istria, deals exclusively with olive oil and cold processing, and they currently work to produce three different olive oil varieties.

"We haven't got large plants and industrial halls, we cultivate two varieties and we concentrate on the quality rather than on the quantity. On our eight hectares [of land], about 1,700 olive trees have been planted, from which ten farmers harvest up to 200 kilograms per day, manually, so that the fruits aren't damaged, as is the case with mechanical harvesting. We produce and sell up to 6,000 bottles a year. These are olives that are over 400 years old,'' Grubić stated, adding that they're also engaged in service activities and therefore process olive oil for their partners, too.

The taste and the top quality of their olive oil has been recognised abroad as well as here in Croatia; having been placed among the best extra virgin olive oils in the entire world, as well as earning other similar titles, numerous times.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more. 

Friday, 5 April 2019

First Croatian Olive Oil for Children - Brachia Kids

There's no denying that Croatian olive oil is second to none, and we're not the only ones who think it. Croatian produce has won award after award and the long coastal traditions of olive growing, picking and harvesting in Croatia are worthy of just as much praise as the final results of that hard work are.

As Morski writes on thr 4th of April, 2019, the respected Brač brand of olive oil, Brachia, has launched Brachia Kids, the first Croatian olive oil made just for children of kindergarten and elementary school age, reports Journal.hr.

''Brachia Kids brings the fresh and intriguing taste of organic olive cultivation from ecological [olive] growing from the island of Brač. These flavours are ideal for children when it comes to falling in love with the taste of olive oil. This new product is intended for parents who understand the healing properties and the great nutritional value(s) of olive oil, and who want to introduce it to their children's diet,'' said Leopold Botteri, the co-manager of the Brachia cooperative.

Part of the main role in popularising the consumption of olive oil for children will also be played by its attractive packaging, which has been made by Izvorka Jurić and Jurica Kos.

''We've designed the packaging so that the product is attractive to children, fun to use, and also educational, in order to develop their awareness of the importance of the regular use of olive oil. The body of a glass vial (0.25 dcl) has been partially placed in a box that, together with the black tip of the bottle, forms a crayon, and within which six crayons are actually housed. Following the dissolution of the box, there is a fun colouring book with illustrations of olive trees and leaves and various tasks for children to complete. Olive oil nourishes the body, and the puzzle and colouring on the packaging, acts as food for the brain. Together, they make a complete product for the healthy development of children,'' explained packaging designer Izvorka Jurić.

In addition to the premium olive oil of Brachia Maslina and the latest Brachia Kids product - Izvorka Jurić has designed products for the lines of Brachia sort oils, ecoBrachia and Brachia & Friends. All of these products, including Brachia Kids' olive oil for children, are now available for purchase in UJE stores across the Republic of Croatia.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Journal

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