What is it?
Agourelaio comes from the pressing of unripe green olives and has a stronger and fruitier flavor than other olive oils. It is also has a more intense, bright green color.
When is the season?
The olives are harvested early, usually between October and November, depending on the region and season. The resulting oil hits the markets in mid to late November up to early February. It has a limited life of about 3 to 5 months. That doesn’t mean that it spoils after, but it does lose some of its characteristics, namely the intense fruity aroma and strong, almost peppery flavor. After a few months, it mellows to the standard of other olive oils.
Normally used raw, it really stands out when used:
• in all salads, especially simple ones with one or two ingredients to really showcase its taste.
• on grilled meat ‒ it makes a great condiment for grilled beef steaks and fillets, especially if combined with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. The same goes for chicken fillets.
• with toasted bread: The simplest way to enjoy a good green olive oil is to drizzle it over toasted bread. You can enhance the taste by adding crushed garlic, salt and spices of your choice.
• raw after cooking: Add a dash of green olive oil to casseroles, pasta with red sauce, beans and risotto (particularly those with seafood) at the end to boost flavors.
• with white cheese: Pour a little green olive oil onto white cheeses or spicy cheese dip and sprinkle with oregano, thyme, marjoram or mint. It also adds flavor to tzatziki.
It also goes very well with grilled seafood such as shrimp. Simply drizzle over the shrimp before serving.
We sampled 12 green olive oil brands in a blind tasting. Here are the four that received our highest score:
1. Lithos: Light green, an unusual color for agourelaio, characterized by its fruity aroma of green athinolia olives.
Origin: Laconia. | Olive variety: Athinolia.
2. Protolado Stater: A dark green olive oil, with a very strong taste, full-bodied and with fresh aromas.
Origin: Halkidiki. | Olive variety: Elia Chalkidiki.
3. Moria Elea : Spicy, strong and aromatic, full-bodied.
Origin: Pigadia, Ermioni. | Olive variety: Koroneiki.
4. Elawon: Fruity and spicy.
Origin: Mycenae. | Olive variety: Koroneiki.