Babis and Janina grow their olives in the sea-side village of Modi using 100% natural means. Modi is a beautiful small village close to the sea with a long olive tradition and a rich vegetation of orange trees, vines surrounded by a “wild” nature of pine, plane, cypress and eucalyptus trees.
In contrast to most producers of edible olives on the island who use the Kalamata or Tsounati variety, Babis and Janina use the Koroneiki variety for their recipe, which exhibits wide-ranging anti-inflammatory effects and compared to most other olive varieties very high level of polyphenols – the chemical substances found in plants that reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. The small Koroneiki variety olive has been cultivated on Crete for more than 3,000 years and is considered the absolute star among the hundreds of varieties that thrive in Greece. Modern science shows that the oil produced from Koroneiki olives reflect the microclimate and terroir of the region in which it was produced more intensely and clearly than other varieties.
Babis and Janina, normally reside in the mountainous remote village of Kallikratis in Sfakia where they have a small traditional cafe infront of their home. In their backyard they grow organic fruit and vegetables and have a small lab where they make essential oils out of the Crete’s rich flora. Their cafe and little shop makes resting place of rare tranquility for travellers and hikers who cross the mountains to reach the south coast of Crete or explore the amazing gorges of the region.
Babis harvests the olives in Modi in January when they are fully matured and black and brings them to their home in Kallikratis. There, Janina who holds a Masters in botanology, cures the olives in layers of sea salt and savory, thereby extracting the natural bitterness of the olives. She then marinates the cured olives with bay laurel, which is a natural preservative, extra virgin olive oil and slightly spicy red Madam Jeanette. This recipe, is an unique adaptation of the traditional Cretan recipe for making ‘alatsoelies’ (salted olives) that makes these small olives a rare delight.
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