Croatian olive oil is one of the most famous products in the country and you can try its flavourful varieties at restaurants all over the globe, from small diners to Michelin-star restaurants. Each region offers unique flavour profiles that can’t be found anywhere else in the world! Croatia is a small country, with a small olive oil production - but that doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. On the contrary, it is one of the best in the world! Each region offers its own variety, and here is our guide to Croatian Olive oil flavours.
Istria And Kvarner
Istria has been producing olive oil for thousands of years. This region's oil has long been regarded as of exceptional quality, as noted by Roman foodie Marcus Gavius Apicius in the first century, credited with writing the first cookbook. Istria has long been known for its wine and olive production, dating back to when it was a small province of the Roman empire. Both the wines of Istria, such as the red wine Teran, and the olive oil of Istria were highly esteemed by the residents of Rome, and evidence of the region's olive oil production can still be found today.
Brijuni, Barbariga, and Pore have been recognized as the major producers of olive oil and the amphorae that are used to ship it throughout the Mediterranean. Some of the well-known native olives are bua, istarska bjelica, oblica, crnica, roinjola, and bua puntoa. Thanks to their exceptional flavour, aroma, and colour, these olives have all contributed to Istrian olive oil winning numerous major awards.
The oldest olives in the world are found on the island of Pag.
The village Lun, on the island of Pag's northernmost tip, is home to thousand-year-old olive trees. Around 80 thousand olive trees cover an area of approximately 86 hectares. One in particular sticks out among the many thousand-year-old olive trees. It is the world's oldest olive tree, dating back over 1,600 years.
The olive grove of Lun on the island of Pag has 80,000 olive trees on 400 hectares, 1500 of the Oblica variety, making them particularly interesting due to their grafting with the extremely rare evergreen Olea oleaster variety!
Every olive tree is different. The wind, which shapes the trees as they grow in bare rock, has sculpted them into the most incredible shapes, turning them into magnificent works of art. According to the most recent investigations, the oldest olive tree in Lun is thought to be over 1600 years old, or even 2000 years old. Several hundreds of other trees are thought to be around 1000 years old.
Dalmatians produce the majority of their olives on modest-sized olive plantations, many of which have portions that are smaller than a hectare. Therefore, the varieties of olives planted here must be fairly heat- and drought-tolerant.The most common olive kinds are Oblica, Drobnica, Levantinka, Mastrinka, and Karbunela. From Stari Grad to Rogoznica, as well as the nearby islands of Dugi Otok, Ugljan, Pasman, Silba, Molat, Ist, Murter, and Kornati - more than a million trees are being grown today.
Oblica is regarded as a native variety because it has been grown in this region for more than 2,000 years and is believed to have originated in the Middle East. Columella, a Roman author, provided the first descriptions of this kind in his 12-volume work "On Agriculture." It can withstand severe winds and survive in poor and/or shallow soil!
Dalmatia is home to about 5 million olive trees, that's more than the population of Croatia. Brač, the largest island, has around 500,000 trees. The success of olive farming in these areas is attributable to Dalmatia's 2,600 hours of sunshine per year, which olives adore, and so do we at Selo Olive - the family-made olive oil from the village Tinj - near Zadar.
What makes Dalmatian olive oil so unique is its delectable peppery flavour: a sign that it is high in polyphenols – chemical compounds full of healthy antioxidants. If you're a first-time buyer, you really need to know that you've stumbled upon one of the finest olive oil-growing regions in the world. Every gourmet chef wants drops of liquid Mediterranean gold in their kitchen. And since we make limited quantities of olive oil, only the lucky ones will succeed in winning their bottle of oil.
South Dalmatia - Dubrovnik-Neretva
The Dubrovnik-Neretva region is a major producer of high-quality olive oil. It has an area that consists of Dalmatia, Herzegovina and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south-eastern section. The Neretva River runs through this region and is one of Croatia's most fertile areas.
Organic olive oils from Dubrovnik and its environs are also well-known, with many winning awards in international contests. Despite its tiny size, the island of Šipan conceals various olive-related wonders. In addition, the island holds the Guinness World Record for having the most significant number of olive trees in relation to its surface area and population. A legend from the island of Šipan claims that it is customary for each girl who wishes to be married to plant olive trees - and that’s why there are so many olives in this area!
Place your order of Selo Olive Oil today to have a bottle of the finest Croatian extra virgin olive oil sent straight to your door so that you can enjoy what you’ve been missing: ultra premium olive oil from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.