Meet Christina: Our olive oil producer from Zakros, Crete

Meet Christina: Our olive oil producer from Zakros, Crete

Something new from Crete has just landed. Another gorgeous extra virgin olive oil from the mythical Mediterranean island known for making some of the very best.

We first connected with Christina around a shared passion for regenerative farming and building biodiversity.

Then we tried her oil, and instantly knew it would delight your dishes...

So, now on throughout the summer, our Citizen's subscription boxes have switched with the season to this lovely new single estate extra virgin olive oil.

As a note on how our subscriptions work, by subscribing to become a Citizen, you get access to delicious and exclusive EVOOs that you would never otherwise get to try from small-batch producers. And this one is no exception.

Christina in Crete on her Koroneiki olive grove in Zakros

Introducing Christina

The eldest of the four children in a family with a long tradition in olive oil, she returned home in hopes of restoring her land, her soul, and her family groves.

Christina had been living abroad, with many years also spent working in Athens as a linguist. But just like the story of some of our other producers on their olive oil journey, she too missed the connection with nature. Particularly, she longed for the olive trees on her family land.

So, she set out on a new adventure: “A journey that starts in the land that nurtured us—the ancient land of Zakros."

Christina and Adonis on their olive grove in Zakros

Something *extra* from Zakros in Eastern Crete

Sitting across a patchwork of 5 hectares in this rugged, wild landscape on the far eastern side of the island, Christina cultivates for the future.

Once she made up her mind that she would return home to farm, she dove into the world of olive oil, learning everything she could about its production but also the ways in which she could build back her groves in a better way. A way in which she works in harmony with nature, that is organic throughout, and in a way that regenerates the health of the land.

On year 2 of her conversion to fully-certified organic olive groves, what we appreciate the most is the work to go the extra mile beyond just removing any synthetics “cides” from her land, but moreover the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into regenerative agriculture.

It’s a “test-and-learn” kind of approach for many in this space, but Christina has absolute conviction that it's what her land needs to protect future harvest over time.

Beyond the quality of the oil she delivers with her oil, she explains her own mission for the farm: "Our olive oil and the cultivation of our trees is our way to connect with the land, the Earth, our ancestors, and each one of our customers and partners...Although we are a tiny family olive oil business in this big big world, we try with the means we have to do our tiny part in caring for our Earth and leaving a positive footprint!"

But she's not stopping there. Her plan is to inspire her neighbours to do the same:

"Through the methods and processes of permaculture and natural farming we work for the adoption of agro-ecology in olive cultivation in our local community."

Olive oil and beans

How to use this olive oil

As always, the best way to understand an oil is to get to know it. Put it in a little cup, swirl it around, and have a smell and a sip. (See more on how you should properly taste EVOOs from our sommelier.)

Particularly the aromas you pick up can guide you on what might taste nice with it. That said, this oil, like our EVOO from Maria in central Crete, is the sort of oil we keep coming back to for an every-day, every-meal kinda splash.

What it tastes like

Like Maria's oil from Crete, this one has that lovely fresh-cut grass note, but you can also expect raw artichoke and fresh tomato aromas. 

Coming from the Koroneiki variety, which is one of the most popular varieties in the world and the main variety of Greece, it plays to its namesake being the "queen" of olives. (The Greek root of this work is korṓnē, meaning crown).

What comes out from this batch is a bright fruitiness with a mild spiciness and bitterness, "while it almost always leaves a sweet after-taste," shares Christina.

What to pair it with

Another oil for every-day pouring, this one also sings on roasted vegetables, would do well in a barbecue, enjoys being with beans, and will really cook nicely in a cake.

 

Want to try this oil? It's in our subscriptions and starter packs this summer.

*Note: This is only available in a 500ml refill pouch at this time. We hope to have more to share next harvest—so let us know what you think!

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