Helen Koutalianos and her husband, Basil, are a Pitt Meadows couple who import organic extra-virgin olive oil through their company, Basil Olive Oil Products Ltd. Their Golden Olive Eleni oil, bottled in 500-millilitre glass amphorae sealed with gold wax, comes from their family-run olive estate near Patra, Greece. Meinhardt, Lesley Stowe Fine Foods, Capers and Stong's carry it.
The olives are harvested in November. The couple brings in the current-year harvest, which, says Hesen, is "when olive oil is fresh and new, when it should be consumed."
Fresh, new extra virgin olive oil will keep for two years, she says. In Greece, people turn up at olive estates with their own containers, saying, "I need 100 kilos to take me through the year."
Helen wants fat-phobic North Americans to know that olive oil is "the best fat to have in your diet" because it is rich in vitamin E and phytochemicals.
Medical researthers agree. Dr. Dimitrios Trichopoulos, professor of epidemiology and cancer prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health, says: "It's very intriguing that people throughout the Mediterranean lead quite unhealthy lives - smoking heavily, not exercising and having poor access to medical care - but they live longer than Americans.
"They have to be doing something right, and olive oil seems to play a critical role," he is quoted as saying in a new Mediterranean cookbook called The French Culinary Institute's Salute to Healthy Cooking (Rodale Press).
Taken From: Vitality in Your Life by Rebecca Wigod on "A study shows the mediterranean diet high in olive oil & fresh unprocessed foods reduces heart attacks."
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