A Taste of Greece – The Olive Table Olive Oil and Honey

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Most people’s experience with olive oil is the relatively flavorless oil that comes out of big bottles from the grocery store. Recently there have even been issues with some of the big name olive oils found on the shelf that didn’t even meet the minimum quality standards for olive oil as set by the International Olive Council. So when Dianne Hinaris of The Olive Table contacted us about her company which features premium quality extra virgin olive oil from her family property in Greece, we were excited to try some samples of her products and write up a review about what we thought. Dianne sent us out a couple of free samples of their olive oils and some honey to try out.

The Olive Table imports premium quality, single estate extra virgin olive oils from their family property in Greece. Owned by their family for more than 100 years, the Hinaris family has been making olive oil for three generations, making olive oil a family tradition. Located in the southwestern part of Greece, the family plantations are in a climate renowned for olive growing. By controlling their supply source, The Olive Table is able to control every part of the olive oil production process, ensuring that the customer will receive a top quality product.

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Olive Table offer two single estate extra virgin olive oils from 100% Koroneiki olives – a conventional and a certified organic early harvest.  The conventional oil is a light, delicate intensity oil and the early harvest oil is a greener, sharper-tasting oil with a bit more bitterness. Both olive oils are richly flavored, which means these olive oils actually have a flavor that is delicious, and very much unlike those flavorless big name oils. The oils are cold extracted, unfiltered, low in free fatty acids and high in exceptionally high in polyphenols (a fancy naturally occurring compound that is supposed to help reduce the risk of a medley of health issues!) We enjoyed the olive oils, especially their early harvest olive oil, which had a very rich bold olive flavor that was amazing with a fresh baguette from one of our local bakeries, Le Petit Paris. Both oils were also delicious when mixed with a nice balsamic vinegar.

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We also found three samples of their all natural Greek raw honey in our sample box, Pine, Chestnut and Reiki (Mediterranean Heather). Harvested from hives in Greece from some of the forests and fields that surround the olive plantations. In Greece, honey is typically used for medicinal purposes as well as for sweetening and in cooking. In order to get the most beneficial effects from honey, Greeks use the honey raw, which keeps all the antioxidants and enzymes at their most potent level. Embracing the Greek way, Olive Table ships all their honey in its raw unfiltered state, keeping tiny bits of the honeycomb and pollen in the honey, making the honey more flavorful. Olive Tables ‘forest’ honey varieties (Pine and Fir) are quite different in flavor from the typical wildflower based honey that is typically found in the US. The forest varieties are lower in sugar than wildflower honey and don’t have the floral qualities, rather having a flavor of pine, pleasantly sweet and woodsy.  The chestnut honey had a rich nuttiness that helped balance the sweetness and gave a very different flavor that worked very well with tangy cheeses like goat cheese.
Our personal favorite honey was the Reiki Honey, which is harvested from hives that gather pollen from fields of Mediterranean Heather. The honey has a floral herbaceous taste that is further enhanced by an earthy undertone from the heather. We especially liked this variety of honey drizzled over a Maytag Blue Cheese.
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Olive Table believes keeping all of their products as natural as possible, and are committed to delivering products that are naturally flavored and free of any type of additive. Primarily sold in the Northeast, if you are interested in their products you can order directly on their website.
 
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