Agourolado Frequently Asked Questions
What is “Agourolado”?
Agourolado is a unique kind of extra virgin olive oil, known by its colloquial name “agoureleo” in Greece. In simple terms, it’s oil from unripe olives. It’s also known as “early harvest” olive oil since olives are not only harvested early in the season, but also earlier than their ripened state. In Crete (because Cretans always have a different word for things), this kind of oil is known as “agourolado.” Both “agoureleo” and “agourolado” come from the Greek word “agouro” or unripe. The Ancient Greeks also produced early harvest olive oil and called it “omphakion.” They not only used it as an exquisite food product, but also as medicine. Hippocrates documented 60 different ailments that could be treated with oil from unripe olives-- but more on that later. I’ve actually chosen the name “Agourolado” for my very first small batch of this unique oil as a tribute to the people of Crete, including my parents, both of whom were from this island.
What’s so special about this kind of olive oil?
Agoureleo is special because of its unique taste, but more so because of its nutritional value that has to do with the high concentration of micronutrients called polyphenols. Put in simple terms, these naturally-occurring compounds make this kind of olive oil a superfood. Science has revealed to us today what the ancient Greeks knew thousands of years ago. Hippocrates used high phenolic olive oil to treat more than 60 ailments. Modern medical research has directly linked polyphenol intake to better digestion and gut health, helping with weight management difficulties, mitigating diabetes, preventing neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol-- even cancer prevention.
So this is like medicine?
Absolutely not. And you shouldn’t treat it like medicine. Studies should only offer guidance but we do know as a scientific fact that polyphenols act as antioxidants, meaning they can neutralize harmful free radicals that would otherwise damage your cells and increase your risk of conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Polyphenols are also thought to reduce inflammation, which is thought to be the root cause of many chronic illnesses.
Does Agourolado taste different from extra virgin olive oil?
Absolutely. This isn’t EVOO that you buy at the grocery store. In fact, this kind of olive oil rarely makes it to market because of the cost involved to produce it and the unique. Agourolado is peppery and pungent, primarily because of the high concentration of compounds called polyphenols, which are prevalent in unripe olives.
Why is “Agouralodo” more expensive than traditional olive oil?
Agourolado is more expensive because it takes twice the weight in olives to produce it. For a single 500ml bottle, it takes approximately 6 kilograms of olives (about 8,000 olives!). It takes half this amount, or about 3 kilograms, to make the same amount of traditional olive oil.
Is “Agourolado” a single source olive oil and why is that important?
Yes. Our batch comes from a single farm, owned and operated by Giorgos Poulakas in Varipetro, in the region of Hania on Crete. Single source olive oils are produced from olives located in one single farm or traceable source of origin. This means you don’t have a mix of olives from various locations and qualities. Single source extra virgin olive oils cut out middlemen who may reduce the pureness by adulterating it or mixing oils of lesser quality with fresher oil.
Why a stainless steel bottle?
Stainless steel scientifically proven to be the best material to preserve the organoleptic qualities of olive oil and slow down the natural dissipation of the phenolic compounds. Our bottle is modern, sophisticated, refined and minimal-- but more importantly, we chose it because it’s made of the very best material needed to preserve and protect the very finest olive oil available on the market. The bottles are made in Italy with a single die-cut stainless steel that’s the same material used to make the tanks that store olive oil before bottling. Stainless steel is more expensive than tin, glass and other typical bottling products but it protects the olive oil from light and oxidation and preserves the oil’s nutritional properties better than any other material. We also choose stainless steel also because it is 100% recyclable, and it can be reused endlessly without losing any of its original properties. The life cycle of steel is potentially endless, it is a permanent resource, essential for the development of a sustainable world.