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Cultivation of olives in Halkidiki

Reports and finds for cultivation in Halkidiki have existed since ancient times, but the systematic cultivation of olives began in the mid-19th century.

 

Olive cultivation in Halkidiki covers an area of about 360,000 hectares with 6 million olive trees. It covers about a third of the prefecture's growing area.

 

80% of the population of Halkidiki is engaged in the cultivation and the products of the olives.

 

55% of olive production in Greece comes from Halkidiki.

 

Annual production is estimated at 120,000 tons of olives, 80% of which is exported to 45 countries

Olive varieties in Halkidiki

 

General: The olive varieties are classified according to the size of the fruit and their use. That is, in small fruits, medium-sized fruits, large fruits, those destined for oil production (olive oil) and those destined for table olives (edible olives).

 

The most represented varieties in Halkidiki are:

·      Chondroelia Chalkidikis (Chalkidiki Olive) – table olive

The composition of the Halkidiki olive fruit is rich in calcium, iron and omega-3 fats, while its total fat content is relatively low. They have a unique taste, high nutritional value and are therefore rightly among the best varieties in the world.

The olives are harvested by hand with ladders between September 15th and October 15th.

The products of Halkidiki olive are:

 

-      Green olives (whole, sliced, pitted, or stuffed with garlic, pepper, almonds, etc.).

-      Naturally processed green olives traditionally (whole or marinated).

-      Black olives, left on the tree to ripen (turn black) and put in salt to ferment after harvest.

-      Green olive paste

-      Black olive paste

·      Stroggiloelia (galani, prasinoelia, galano olive) –  olive oil

The Galano olive is mainly grown in Sithonia, which occupies 42,000 hectares of arable land, and is used to produce olive oil, which has a particularly high quality, making it sought after all over the world. In the area of Metaggitsi, Sithonia, it is 90% cultivated.

 

The extra virgin olive oil of Halkidiki has an intense green color, a rich aroma, low acidity, while its peppery aftertaste is characteristic.

 

Harvest time begins in October. In order to get the perfect quality of olive oil, the olives must be harvested by hand and before the olives are black or start to turn black, i.e. green (unripe). The mechanical harvesting methods such as vibrating machines can damage the olives and we lose quality as a result.

 

The olives must be transported to the oil mill on the same day and in air-permeable crates so that the olives retain their original freshness, since all their beneficial properties are hidden there.

rden, while oil production is estimated at 7,000 tons.

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