Principal Olive Varieties

What would Mediterranean cuisine be without olive oil? Among its many attributes, olive oil is high in unsaturated fatty and oleic acids and antioxidants or polyphenoles, contributing significantly to the health of the Mediterranean diet, confirmed in recent studies as one of the healthiest on earth.

Early Greek and Roman manuscripts praised the quality and the refinement of Istrian olive oil, and the oldest olive tree in Istria, located on Brijuni Island, has been proven to be 1600 years old. With a tradition dating over 2000 years, diligent Istrian farmers have preserved many of the peninsula’s unique olive varieties. Istria’s indigenous cultivars are distinguished by their tolerance of lower temperatures, producing highly aromatic, healthful oils with a higher ratio of favourable fatty acids than those from more southerly Europe and the African continent.

Below you will find detailed descriptions of 11 indigenous and 12 introduced cultivars that we hope olive enthusiasts, growers and olive oil producers will find informative and helpful.

Source: MIH Ltd. Poreč, www.mih.hr