This olive oil is very special to us. Not just because of a strong, super flavourful taste. Which is absolutely stunning, to say the least! But also because this is a food product that we source further from home and yet we can still offer full transparency on it.
In the winter of 2022, Ivar went to visit some olive oil producers in Spain and Portugal. And not only did he visit, but he actually stayed in the olive grooves for some weeks and worked along the crew in the Olival, as the Spanish and Portuguese call it. Besides learning about the importance of early harvest, the content of biophenols (an amazing health benefit and giving great flavor), he also got to feel truly the intrinsic motivation of the producers, Krister and Miranda.
The final bit of excitement is that you can also work in exchange for accommodation and food in the Portuguese Olive Grooves. Or stay in their lovely Airbnb, which is part of an amazing traditional architecture. Do you want to know the true origin of your food? You can see and experience it up closely now.
Complete product details
At a glance:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- A great balance of fruitiness, bitter and peppery
- Polyphenol content of 423mg/kg
- Rich flavour
- Grown with true respect to environment
- Cultivated without tilling practises
- Size: 500ml
- Packaging: Glass bottle with steel cap
- Produced in: Elvas, Portugal
- Produced by: Miranda & Krister
- Field objective: Nature reserve
- Certificates of grower: Organic certified
- Processed by: Almazara Molero Maza
- Transport mode to warehouse: Truck
- Bulk storage: Stored with absence of oxygen in bag in box
- How to recycle: In coloured glass recycling container
With special oils, we tend to use it very sparingly. Leaving the olive oil for too long exposed to light, heat and oxygen, which degrades oils in flavour and health properties. In other words, store oils away from heat and light exposure, and finish the bottle before the oil degrades.
Use the oil cold or warm.
We simply love to dip some toasted bread into the oil, as the full flavor profile becomes present.
Let's talk polyphenols (also called biophenols). Polyphenols are micronutrients present in certain plant-based foods. Packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits, including the the protection against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is linked to numerous conditions. And this all lays at the basis of he EU approved health claim for olive oil polyphenols (EU 432/2012), which states that taking 20g daily of olive oil containing 250mg/kg of polyphenols or above can contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress. This olive oil had a 423mg/kg of polyphenols at bottling.
|Nutritional Value||Per 100g||Per portion (20g)||RI*|
|Energy||3435 kJ (821 kcal)||549 kJ (131 kcal)|
|Of which saturates||15.5||g||1.5||g|
|Of which sugars||0||g||0||g|
*Reference intake of an average adult ( 8400 kJ/2000 kcal) per 100 grams
|Free Fatty acids||0.13||%|
|K232||1.48||Must be ≤2.5|
|K270||0.11||Must be ≤0.22|
|Delta-K||-0.002||Must be ≤0.01|
At Ekoto we always prefer whole foods. Food as it can be found in nature has a great balance in nutrients and supplies more micro nutrients than extracted food. However, for those moments you want to use extracted or refined products, we do our utter best to produce the best quality products together with our farmers! Just like with this incredible olive oil from Krister and Miranda.
An interesting comparison to be made with vegetable oil production is the yield per hectare. And therewith the land use to meet our consumer need of vegetable oils.
Palm and coconut would come out on top in regard to amount of oil per hectare and olive oil would follow their positions. Though looking at the chemistry of these products, these are not much comparable. Palm and coconut (together with cacao) are the only oils from vegetable origin that are so high in saturated fatty acids. Something that is otherwise only present in animal fats.
Unsaturated fatty acids are much more desirable in our diets. These fatty acids are commonly found in all other plant-based origins such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, linseed oil or sunflower oil. Not even to mention the polyphenols in olive oil that we talked about earlier.
Then, secondly, it comes always down to the "how" instead of the "what". One same product, being produced a lot differently, makes a lot of difference in sustainability aspects.
Quinta do Veloso, as the olive farm is called, produces by organic standards and the entire olive groove is registered as an ecological reserve. And beside these certifications, it comes down to true practises. It is common practise to till the soil, meaning bare soil which leaches valuable nutrients, kills soil life, no ability to hold water and heavenly decreased biodiversity. Krister and Miranda leave the soil fully covered with vegetation to prevent all this. And to prevent from more commonly present wildfires, the horses or sheep in the groove keep the vegetation all short and fertilised. With this method a lot more biodiversity is present in the groove. From boars to partidges and even the rare hoopoes. But also lupines, wild aspargus, Portuguese lavender and cistus.
Lastly, all machines, from olive shakers to saws and from lawn movers to trimmers, are battery powered. Preventing toxic fumes from being released in the midst of the ecological reserve. In other words, thought has been put in all processes present on the olive groove of Krister and Miranda.
Krister, Miranda and their son Tor left their Virginia farm behind in 2015 to build a life in the olive grooves of Alentejo, Portugal. The ancient Groove they found, was neglected over the preceding ten years, with trees of hundreds of years old being cut down for firewood. The task for them to restore the ecological reserve in old glories. A task they took with all responsibility and now they are the stewards of Quinta do Veloso.
Now years later, Ivar witnessed the true biodiversity flourishing in the ecological reserve. The unique way of producing makes the olive oil so distinct in flavor. The patient management pays of in fruitful harvests over time. A harvest that happens very early in the season, when the fruits are still strong in nutrients, and sugars are not yet converted to bruised olives.
Would you like to experience the olive harvest up close? Or help out with other day to day tasks in the other seasons of the year? Join their Workaway experience now!
Would you prefer to stay in their On-Farm Cottage in the midst of fruit and olive trees? Check out their Airbnb listing.
Read more about their story and the amazing olive oil? Read on on their website.