NEW SEASON, SINGLE ESTATE
GOLDEN, ORGANIC OLIVE OIL
BOTTLED FRESH FROM MILLING
UNFILTERED AND UNADULTERATED
Hand-picked and brought to you from their Greek groves by
broadcaster NATALIE WHEEN and artist DEBORAH MACMILLAN
2 – 5 June: Ideal Home Show, Glasgow
A taste sensation is about to reach the UK this spring: AVLAKI’s new season, unfiltered oils from single estates are the freshest and tastiest oils; aromatic, totally organic, handpicked and bottled on the Greek island of Lesvos. Made from olives particular to the island, you won’t find oil like it from anyone else. The olives are milled the moment they’re picked and the oil bottled speedily and unadulterated. AVLAKI oil means oil with the maximum benefit of the olives’ nutrients and tastes – rarely if ever found in large-scale commercial production.
Most oils reach the shops after months of storage, filtering and blending; as a result it’s difficult to tell how old it is. Every bottle of AVLAKI oil has the date of picking and the date of bottling on the label, and ‘single estate’ guarantees that the olives and oil are never mixed with other farmers’ crops, and the production of each grove or ‘estate’ kept separate.
AVLAKI oils come from two groves with very different aspects and climates resulting in two distinctive characteristics and tastes. They are planted with a mix of two olive varieties ‘Kollovi’ and ‘Andramytianni’, which are particular to the island of Lesvos. These make a naturally golden oil, which is low in chlorophyll (unlike green oils) and will not go rancid – if kept properly in a cool dark place.
They are also light in consistency, with complex flavours: these oils are top end, gourmet oils for ‘finishing’ dishes, perfect on salads, drizzled over hot vegetables and soups, or just dipped with freshly baked crusty bread.
AVLAKI is the unlikely venture of two enterprising British ladies, artist Deborah MacMillan and broadcaster and writer Natalie Wheen. They had no notion of making oil when buying a run-down shack in a corner of rural Greece in 1996, intended to be a place where Deborah could paint or Natalie write. The olive trees on the land were severely neglected but with hard work and the best of British gardening traditions, the land was restored, the trees flourished and the groves were soon teeming with wildlife and wild flowers. The olive crop burgeoned and so began their artisanal olive oil business.
A completely organic and hand-crafted process, the oil is carefully supervised from branch to bottle under the watchful eyes of Deborah and Natalie. Picked by hand, using long rakes, the olives fall onto soft netting and unlike many producers, every care is taken to remove all twigs and leaves before carefully packing the crop into vegetable crates to avoid bruising as it goes to the mill.
The land, methods of farming, trees, olives, and the processing are all guaranteed organic. 100% free from chemical herbicides and pesticides they are fully certified by BIO-HELLAS, the long established Greek accredited organic inspecting organisation. AVLAKI oils are produced with strict attention to hygienic good practice.
The Agatherí Groves are ancient and very special, bordering on an old agricultural road which reputedly dates back to the 13th century. Steep mountain fields carpeted with wild flowers at around 600m above sea level, they are well watered by mists and cloud. It snows every winter, with temperatures dropping to -10º for several weeks, causing the trees to produce a light oil that is complex and sophisticated. The Avlaki Groves, on the south of the island, sit on gently sloping south facing and sheltered fields. Just above sea level, they produce oil that is grassy and fruity.
Don’t take our word for it, you can taste these fresh, balanced, exquisite oils for yourself at food and drink trade exhibitions in Birmingham, London, Exeter, Glasgow and Harrogate between March and June 2012.
Notes to Editors
Deborah MacMillan is a painter, and looks after the legacy of her late husband, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, choreographer and former Director of the Royal Ballet. His ballets are performed in major theatres all over the world. www.deborahmacmillan.com www.kennethmacmillan.com
Natalie Wheen is a writer and broadcaster on the arts and classical music, best known to audiences for her programmes on Classic FM and formerly BBC Radio.
Use Avlaki Oil as a ‘finishing’ oil, for dressing dishes that have already been cooked….
The hot dish releases the olive aroma – and the light oil makes a perfect glaze – without the heaviness or oily-ness of some oils – particular the heavy green ones.
On just steamed vegetables, lightly drizzle over instead of butter – it adds a wonderful aroma and taste.
Pour a circle on soup in the bowl just before serving: it looks pretty, adds a luxurious feel to the liquid – and of course enhances the taste.
For a salad dressing, mix with the tiniest squeeze of lemon, or just a splash of balsamic vinegar. Anything more will mask the taste of the oil.
Serve by itself, (in a white bowl to show off the pretty colour) with the plainest of breads to dip in and enjoy.
Of course, you can use Avlaki oils to cook with but we think the taste is too spectacularly different from anything commercial in the shops not to be savoured for itself.