There has been considerable controversy in recent years about the authenticity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil sold in North America with evidence suggesting that up to 70% of the product available on shelves is mislabled, according to international standards. This venture originated largely in response to this problem.
Our objective is to share access to the limited quantity of extra virgin olive oil produced from our orchards in Greece. Initially this was limited to family and has been extended to friends and colleagues through word of mouth.
Olive oil is an organic product, subject to variation in taste from year to year, not unlike wine, with climate and other factors influencing the final product. Our groves are mostly older trees and, following local traditions, we do little to the trees during the year beyond the necessary pruning. The harvest is monitored by family members and we have used pickers who adhere to certified processes.
Our exquisite extra virgin olive oil comes from a small town in the province of Ilia in the western Peloponnese. It is located a few miles from Ancient Olympia. Like most groves in this area, ours is small, very old and family owned.
There are a lot of different varieties of olives, some for oil, others for eating and a few for both purposes. Almost all olives are green and mature into a darker color.
Mimi's EVOO is produced from a single, highly prized olive variety, the Koroneiki which grows best in its native Peloponnesos. It likes to grow in poor soil and hates cold weather, one of the main reasons that it is so hard to grow successfully in other locations.
Its fruit is small with a high ratio of skin to flesh, giving the extra virgin olive oil it produces its unique qualities including a very high level of antioxidants.
Timing of the harvesting is an important element of production. We produce Agourelaio, oil pressed from slightly unripened (green) olives or, in Greek, agouro olives. For the Koroneiki olive, this is the optimal stage of the fruit's development as it will have the highest levels of antioxidant content. Agourelaio is coveted for its low acidity and wonderful fresh fruity-spicy flavour that leaves a characterisically mild aftertaste at the back of the throat. This oil is an intense green color and has an amazing rich aroma.
The harvest and pressing are monitored by Petros, our picker/arborist and my son, Alex, to ensure that best practices are followed. The final product is delivered directly to the shippers from the press. It takes about two months for our extra virgin olive oil to arrive in North America.
At this juncture, Mimi's Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a seaonal venture producing single variety extra virgin olive oil with limited supply.