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3 Greek biodiversity makes the country's EVOOs stand out.

4 Greek varieties have intense aromas and distinct flavors.

5 Harvesting practices can affect the quality of olive oil.

fact, phenols give olive oil added value and if they are removed, the only way to obtain any flavor is through the use of chemicals. For an olive oil to be edible, it should balance the high levels of natural phenolic compounds with a pleasing taste. A matter which does not negate the fact that an excellent extra virgin oil could also have high levels of phenols. Hence the “health claim” that some Greek olive oil producers have started using, which translates into superior quality paired with exceptional organoleptic characteristics –an EVOO not only good for your health but also perfect for eating.

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A matter of taste "Is it true that Greek olive oils taste strange to a foreign palate?", one might ask. Experts disclose that it all depends on the market. The American market, for example, is more used to Spanish olive oil –that is medium to low quality– whereas Germans are more interested in commercial standards, such as ISO, IFS, etc. and the French are “degustateurs”, they prefer to taste olive oil to determine its value. Greek olive oil, however, is not unknown to them. In fact, as exports suggest, the international clientele is acknowledging the distinct flavors and aromas of EVOOs produced in Greece. Additionally, Greece was the first country to promote early harvest olive oils, greener and more bitter than regular ones and produced from unripe olives. Agourelaio, or early harvest olive oil as it is widely known, has a very peculiar taste that many find too strong or too pungent, although lately it seems to be gaining momentum on a global scale. This proves that in some markets people are “trained” to appreciate an early harvest EVOO, while in others, consumers are unable to assess it in a positive way –in the latter case, more mature olive oils, with rounder flavors and “easier” to the palate, are marketed.

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