Iliada Organic Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a delicious award-winning Greek olive oil which is widely available in the UAE as well as many other countries.
Iliada was the first extra virgin olive oil I bought when I moved to Dubai. I was new in town and one of the first places I learned to drive to was our closest organic store. They stocked several brands of organic EVOO, but I was swayed to try Iliada simply because of the charming little piece of twine tied around its neck.
It is produced by a company called AGRO.VIM run by the Gyftea family. They work with local farmers to make traditional Greek agricultural products including several types of olive oils, table olives, salad dressings, and antipasti.
Named as a tribute to the epic Greek poem the ‘Iliad’ by Homer, Iliada EVOO is made from Koroneiki olives grown by local farmers from the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) certified region of Kalamata in the Southern Peloponnese. Koroneiki olives have been grown in Greece for over 3,000 years. Although Koroneiki is a small olive, it has one of the highest oil contents of all the olive varietals. Oil produced from Koroneiki olives is of very high quality, with a high level of oleic acid and polyphenol antioxidants, two of the naturally occurring chemicals which make EVOO so healthy.
When I buy a bottle of EVOO, some of the things which I like to know are the date of harvest, the free fatty acid level, and the peroxide level (which are all indications of the quality of the oil in the bottle). This bottle included the production date but not the harvest date, and unfortunately I couldn’t find any information about the free acidity or peroxide levels. Despite this lack of information, I really enjoy the palatable and versatile flavour of Iliada Organic Kalamata EVOO.
To taste the EVOO, I poured about a tablespoon of the oil into a small cup and warmed it between my hands for about a minute to help release the flavours and aromas. The colour of the oil was yellow with a tinge of green (note: color is not an indication of quality). The aroma was fruity and smelled like olives. The first flavor I could taste was fresh and grassy, before becoming a bit warmer and herbaceous. As I exhaled, I could faintly sense fresh bananas before the back of my throat became aware of peppery spiciness. For more details on how to taste olive oil, see my Tutorial: How To Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
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- I purchased a 750ml bottle of Iliada Kalamata Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spinneys (Dubai, UAE) for AED 48. In the past, I have also purchased it from The Change Initiative and Organic Foods and Cafe (Dubai, UAE).
- All opinions are honest and my own.