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Portrait - Zante Olive Oil

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1. Tesi: Dear Christa, you are an importer of Aristeon olive oils from Greece. What made you consider this business?

Christa: We have been holidaying in Greece for many, many years and gradually have become more and more fascinated with the country, its people, and Mediterranean food. Because olive oil is one of the most important ingredients, we began researching the various flavours.

We discovered our favourite oil in Zakynthos. We loved the extraordinary mildness and fruitful taste and so did our friends in Austria. That was actually the first time we considered importing olive oil as a business. As I recall, it sounded like a totally crazy idea at first, but several years later our web shop went online with Reinhard and I really enjoying developing our own small business. This is despite the challenges, associated with not having the luxury of big marketing budgets. We counter that with a lot of enthusiasm and a product in which we are totally convinced.

 

2. Tesi: I see that various varieties of flavours, from garlic to orange are available. Can you tell us more about the different flavours and perhaps, even which is your favourite?

Reinhard: The oil is currently available in three flavours: fresh Lemons, Oranges, and Garlic, all from Zakynthos. Not sprayed, but gently squeezed together with the olives, infusing flavour into the oil. It's easy and convenient to bring a fresh taste to your favourite dish.

My personal favourites are: Orange oil with green salad and Lemon oil with shrimps.

3. Tesi: You must have some wonderful recipes floating around your mind, using your olive oils. Which is your favourite recipe?

Reinhard: There are a lot of tasteful things in my head;-) But one of the traditional Greek dishes I really love is "Piperies". It comprises, peppers stuffed with "prosciutto crudo" and fried in the olive oil, then served with white bread and a glass of good red wine.

4. Tesi: Please tell me more about the region where the oil originates and the people who make the oil?

Christa: Zakynthos is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. The climate is perfect for olive trees; mild and rainy winters with long and sunny summers. The Aristeon oil mill is located in the south of Zakynthos and is a family business, which combined the mill with a museum. It's possible to participate in a guided tour through the mill, to see how olive oil is produced today and how it was done years ago. Only olives and fruits from Zakynthos are used to produce this Greek specialty.

5. Tesi: What does good food and wine mean to you?

Reinhard: Although good food and wine are not the most important things in my life, I really enjoy a good meal and a glass of delicious red wine. I have observed: "the older I get, the more I am able to enjoy good food and wine;-)"

Thank you
Matthias Tesi Baur

More information: www.zante-oel.at