Sunday 27 March 2016

Interview with Konstantinos Mataragkas

From now, every other weekend on our blog you will be able to read interviews with foodies from many areas of the food industry. Today you can read interview with Konstantinos Mataragkas who is a producer and supplier of very tasty olives.

G.M. You are a family business, who was it started by?

K.M. As far as the ownership of the groves is concerned, to tell you the truth I don’t know exactly. I say my great grand father back in 1890 because this is  as back as I can track it. There is some evidence for about two generations before that but I cannot say for sure. So let’s stick to my great grand father. Regarding the business it was me and my cousin, Spyros Misichronis, who started it about two years ago.

G.M. How big are your olive plantations?
K.M. They are about 12,000sq.m. with 2.000 olive trees. The premium olive oils though I have imported in UK come from a small fraction of them (about 250 trees) and it is limited production for  3,000 bottles of 500ml. The rest is a very good extra virgin olive oil, which I will have it here along with my premium ones by the end of April.

G.M. How many people work for you olive picking? I've heard that you don't use machines.
K.M. You are absolutely right. You see when you use machines you “shock” the tree and the result is the next year to harvest either less or worse quality product. The tree is a living organism. The best way you treat it the best results you will get. I believe this applies to everything and everyone in life.

G.M. Could you describe a bit about the process from olive to oil?
K.M. I could fill pages with that but I will try to be brief. I wouldn’t like your readers to get bored with technicalities.
  •     We hand picked the olives and they fall on nets above the ground so they don’t contaminate from any bacteria or germs from it.
  •     We don’t put the olives in bags to avoid bruising themselves (again for better final product) but we put them in layers in boxes.
  •     Then the olives go to the mill and we start the process. It is already agreed with the mill that the maximum stay until the extraction starts. will be 18 hours from the harvest. Because of it all the main characteristics and ingredients of the olive remain almost intact. (Especially the polyphenols which are the chemical ingredient that is proven that lowers your cholesterol among other health benefits)
  •     Then, after cleaning the olives with water, we start the pressure and the cold extraction. Only in our case this is really  cold pressed. Common olive oils they do it in 25c – 27c. We do it in 17c. We lose in quantity but we gain in flavour and richer polyphenols.
  •     Then we do the first natural filtering. Common olive oils do a second one with the implication of air in order to look clearer and more transparent in the bottle. Air though is an enemy of olive oil so applying this method you harm the final product.
  •     Then the product remains in tanks sealed with nitrogen so we secure that the product is totally intact until bottling.
G.M. Where can we buy your products?
K.M. OLIVIUM can be purchased from:
    ‘The Better Food Company shop on Whiteladies road,
    “Source” deli in St Nicholas market and in Arch House deli in Clifton Village.

You can also order it from my web page and if you live anywhere close to Bristol centre I can deliver it for free.

G.M. We run a healthy blog, could you explain to us the health benefits of olives? And why we should buy yours?
K.M. A very good question. So how many pages have we got? :)
First of all olive oil is a way of life. It is the base of the infamous Mediterranean diet which has not to do only with your food but with exercise as well. Allow me to be frank.
Sprinkling some olive oil on your macaroni and cheese is not going to do you any good. If you want to get the best out of it, you need  to eat daily vegetables and legumes, salads of all kinds and minimise the consumption of red meat. Also you need to consume daily two soup spoons of extra virgin olive oil. (And don’t take my word for it, google it and you will see!)
Now, why mine?
Well, we produce our premium extra virgin olive oil with the purest way possible. We have made every effort to produce a really premium product of which we are really proud of it. I believe and I know that the difference between my olive oils and the rest of super market olive oils is the same difference there is between super market milk and the real thing from the cow. If there is anyone among you to be lucky enough to taste it then he will know what I am talking about. I  also believe that this is probably the best Olive Oil you can find in Southwest (and yes I have done my research) Choosing OLIVIUM for your every day diet you get the best of two worlds. It is not just a product with an amazing taste but because it is so pure you get the best health benefits out of it.

To follow Konstantinos Mataragkas visit his website:
Interviewed by Greg Macalla

No comments:

Post a Comment