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Kyklopas on top at the Kalamata Olive Oil Contest Awards.

Kyklopas on top at the Kalamata Olive Oil Contest Awards.

The Kalamata Olive Oil Awards, an extra virgin olive oil quality competition, held its awards ceremony last night 14/4/18 in Kalamata as part of the 4th Panhellenic Olive and Olive Oil Festival, which is organized by the Kalamata Agricultural Cooperative in conjunction with the regional and local government and many other interest groups. Apart from the interest in announcing the winners, the event was of great significance in terms of the important issues referred to by the head of the competition’s sensory panel, Effie Christopoulou, particularly with regard to the serious problems with the specifications of Kalamata’s protected designation of origin (PDO) and the need to create an organoleptic profile for this and other PDO olive oils.

Additionally, the event had its emotional moments too, with the organizers honouring three personas for their contribution to the olive sector: Andrea Gyftea, founder of Agrovim, Peter Boufea, a veteran chemist and Friedrich Bläuel, founder of the company of the same name in Mani, Greece. Lastly, the crowd that filled the auditorium at Elite City Resort had the opportunity to comprehend the value of olive oil as a condiment, trying award winning olive oils with different characteristic and coming to the understanding that, no matter how high the quality, no one oil complements all foods and flavours.

The local oils of Messinia unfortunately did not excel in the competition, with the gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded to extra virgin olive oils from other parts of the country. However, the Messinian oil did win many distinctions with Alpha to Omega, a company headquartered in the municipality of Kalamata, coming out tops.

The gold prize, with a score of 91.7, was awarded to Kyklopas from Alexandroupolis, Northern Greece, with their Makri variety olive oil.

The silver prize, with a score of 90.5, was won by Nikos Maroulakou’s Malva oil, from Monemvasia in Laconia, with the Athinolias variety of olive.

The bronze prize, with a score of 89.7, was won by Lidrivio oil, by the company Patrida Imports, also from Monemvasia in Laconias but with Corinthian and Athinolia olive varieties.

Finally, it was stressed that this is a competition with rigorous procedures, guaranteed by the notary Martha Zontanou. At the end of the event, the "fusion" of olive oils with different flavours, so called "food pairing", was by commented on by gastronomist Panagiotis Papanikolopoulos and olive oil expert Kostas Tsorwni from Oliverse.

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