We use REAL organic, unfiltered, extra virgin olive oil from a south-Cretan mountain village
Greece is the #1 producer of extra virgin olive oil (acidity < 0.8%). Italy and Spain mainly produce merely "virgin" olive oil. "Extra virgin" is a strange term, almost as strange as "A little pregnant", but the "extra" stands for exceptional long-term quality of the oil. The "extra" means the acidity is very low, and the acidity is a measure of how rancid the oil is. The oil we use is the world's absolute best, it has an acidity of < 0.02% and the best oil comes from the steep valleys of the foothills of the Cretan mountains in the Chania prefecture, many hundreds of kilometres from the nearest source of pollution. The location is in the geographical center of the Mediterranean sea. Only certain types of trees in certain areas (deep, wet, shady valleys) produce such exceptional oil.
Very few specialty stores in the world sell real extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). All such oil sold in supermarkets etc. is falsified, fake, adulterated. The EVOO market has been destroyed by such practices so nowadays, the oil ends up being consumed by the orchard owners themselves, their friends and families and the remainder is sold to local restaurants. There is only a very limited production of real EVOO and trees often produce only a dozen liters a year, and with the current offered price of 2.2 Euro per litre of EVOO, it makes economical sense for a family to consume it themselves, as this price approaches the price for any old oil in the shop. If you don't believe this, we urge you to read this eye-opening and infuriating book about the worldwide olive oil mafia by Tom Mueller:
As soon as understood that we stood no chance of offering our customers real EVOO unless we took massive action and basically personally imported the stuff from some Cretan village, we did exactly that. The people who run our C60-in-EVOO production lab in Sweden were given a well-deserved holiday in Paleochora and to make a long story short: Our oil now comes from an orchard owned by the parents of Stelios, captain of the Paleochora coastguard ship (part of the FRONTEX project) in the tiny village of Voulgaro, in the nort-west of Crete. To reach this village, this single-lane tunnel has to be traversed:
When we say that the Swedish production staff deserved a holiday, we mean it! Here is a batch of 50 ml bottles used for our C60 product on their doorstep, three weeks before they went on the trip to Crete:
We chose the North of Swedish Lapland for the production facility because we can store the fresh olive oil below freezing nearly whole year round, keeping it fresh. Some pictures of the olive press facility:
Before we agreed to buy, we tasted the oil.
Our cans get filled by the owner of the olive press. Each holds 18 liters and we purchased 17 cans full - 306 liters. They will be driven to Chania, where they will be Fedexed to northern Sweden.
We source the oil from Crete, store it cold near the polar circle in Sweden and produce it there as well, then it gets sent to the Czech Republic where it is stored in a cool cellar in winter and in a fridge in summer until the C60-in-olive-oil bottles are mailed to our customers.
A very interesting aspect of all this the price. This absolute top-quality oil is cheap! We saved so much money by getting the oil straight from the source, that the price difference paid for a two-week holiday for two people, including a hotel stay and daily meals in restaurants. We would be stealing from our own wallets if we used any other oil. The very best supermarket oil that we could find used to cost us $20,- per liter. We pay $4,- for the Cretan oil. Price difference: $4896! Shipping is 600 dollars. Before you think that we're exploiting the local farmers: We voluntarily paid a significant premium above the asking price and we offered an even much better deal for next year, when 500 liters of oil will be put in a wooden crate and shipped to Sweden. Even though the farmer will be earning a profit on his 2013 harvest beyond his wildest imagination, we will save enough money to pay for two or three months of wages for our production person in Sweden. You understand that it is in our own financial interest to only use Cretan village EVOO from now on. This is capitalism how it is supposed to be: By cutting out the in this case unethical middle men - see the book I referred to earlier - everyone profits: Farmer (higher price), producer (more profit because we can be both cheaper and better) and consumer (better and cheaper product).