Mentis Estate, now available in the U.S. (as well as in Europe), graciously opened its doors to Kukla’s Kouzina to give us a first-hand look at how it’s done. Come with us as we visit one of our favorite olive-oil producers.
The origin of Athenolia olives
As the mythological story goes, King Cercops set up a competition between Poseidon and Athena to win over his city in Greece which resulted in a showdown as to who could spawn the best gift for his citizens—Poseidon’s creation of a well and spring versus Athena’s planting of the first domesticated olive tree. Poseidon’s spring turned out to be salty and was of little use. When Athena explained to the king that the olive tree would provide food, oil, and wood, commodities that could be traded throughout the Aegean, she won hands down and the city was named Athena (Athens).
The origin of Mentis Estate
In the 1930s, Anastassios Mentis (senior) had one of the first olive oil factories in the area that operated until the 1980s, and it still stands today (adjacent to Mentis Estate) as a reminder of the family's roots. Originally selling the oil under a generic brand to his homeland and Italy for about 85 years (some of today’s trees are that old!), the elder Anastassios passed on the tradition to his sons, Panagiotis and Polixronis, who together worked their father’s land and factory.
The following slideshows will give you an inside look at the Mentis-Estate process from the family's olive groves to their factory.
Part One: Harvesting the Olives by Hand
Part Two: From the Olives to the Bottle
Mentis Estate olive oil is now available in the U.S. in limited quantities to preserve the integrity of this superb product.
To taste this distinct, flavorful extra-virgin olive oil, from the Mentis family to yours, click here!
Our thanks to Anastassios Mentis for welcoming us into his olive-oil home and for sharing his brilliant photography which is displayed throughout this blog!
I hope you enjoyed our olive branch-to-bottle journey. For more on olive oil go to our blog: Olive Oil Odyssey. Stay tuned for more Greek foodie expeditions in upcoming blogs.
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
All images © Anastassios Mentis Photography
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