As stated by the Greek mythology tales, the olive-tree has been created in the following way: in contest with Poseidon, god of the sea, Athena cast a drop of water on the cliff and immediately an olive-tree grew therein.
Throughout the past centuries Istria has been marked by the olive-tree, and here are 4 things you didnt know about Istrian olive oil:
1. Did you know olives are a symbol of Istria since circa 50 AD? There are written proofs saying ancient Greeks and Romans were delighted with the quality of Istrian olive oil. Moreover, Istrian olive oil served as a benchmark for olive oils at the time. It’s no wonder Istria abounds in historic olive oil mills (toklarija in Istrian dialect).
2. Today olive oil production in all of Croatia, and Istria especially, is once again in full swing. It turns out that geographical position of Istria, soil composition and microclimate is indeed very favourable for growing olives. The struggle is real since Croatia nowadays is not perceived as olive oil superpower. Slowly but surely, Istria is rebuilding its reputation.
3. It turns out that somewhat cooler climate like the one in Istria generally does well to olives. Oils from these geographical locations are more aromatic and healthier as they have high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants.
To prove we are truly an “old world” regarding olive oil; let us name a few of indigenous Istrian olive varietals: buža, oblica, istarska bjelica, rosinjola, crnica. Nowadays again Istria has around twenty-something olive oil mills that produce around 200 – 450 tons of olive oil (and growing), which makes around 10% of Croatian production.
4. Flos Olei, the only extra virgin olive oil guidebook in the world, selected Istria as the best olive region in the world for this year. This is no wonder since in the 2016 edition Istria is the region with the biggest number of listed olive oil producers – 50 of them. Just as a comparison, in 2005 there was only 2 olive oil producers from Istria.
The recipe for our dishes is quite simple: raw fish, salt, pepper and amazing Istrian extra virgin olive oil. Come and have one of a kind experience in our restaurant Damir & Ornella!
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