It’s virtually impossible to find a region of Greece where high quality olive oil is not produced. Nevertheless, some places are just better than others. Messinia perfecture at the southwestern end of Peloponnese is one of those places. Greek olive oil made a name for itself.
Oliviculture has been part of life for locals since the Mycenean era, i.e. for more than 3,500 years. In general, Greeks were one of the first nations to cultivate olive trees in the Mediterranean basin. The Roman author Pliny wrote that circa 580 BC neither Latio nor Spain or Tunis were cultivating olive trees. Greek olive oil was considered to be of excellent quality and was a fundamental export commodity during the archaic and classical years. It was exported to Egypt, Sicily and southern Italy.
Olive products were closely associated with everyday life for ancient Greeks. The olive tree was considered a symbol of wisdom, peace and victory. Small branches of the wild olive tree, woven into wreaths, were offered to winners at the ancient Olympic Games, a prize which bestowed the highest honour. Athletes anointed their body with olive oil and also used it for basic body hygiene.
Way of life
Throughout the centuries, the land of Messinia remained an important olive oil production center. Greek olive oil made a name in the early 18th century, 70% of olive oil was produced at the regions of Koroni and Methoni. Locally produced olive oil retains the highest nutritional and pharmaceutical value. No wonder then that one of the greatest tragedians of ancient Greece, Euripides, describes the region of Messinia as “kallikarpos”, which literally means “bearing good fruit”.
The health merits of olive oil consumption, as far as its nutritional value is concerned, render it the characterization “evonymon”, i.e. “the one that has a good name”, which points out that olive oil has nothing but good to offer us. That is exactly the point two scientists wanted to make by giving their company that very name. Based in Varakes area of Messinia, “Evonymon” company was founded in 2013 by Stavroula Rozou, PhD pharmacist, and Nicolas Krikelis, MSc chemist.
Their aim is to to produce and market authentic, qualitative and certified Greek products, such as extra virgin olive oil and aromatic herbs, by continuously improving and promoting them, by boosting the role and contribution of Mediterranean diet to our health.