a bottle of Laconiko lemon infused olive oil, lying on its side in the midst of harvested olives and lemons

Cooking at home? Looking for easy-to-use, healthy natural flavors? Based on the healthiest oil for cooking and finishing, flavored olive oils offer cooks a wide range of intriguing options. This inspired Greek Liquid Gold to highlight several of the Greek flavored olive oil condiments that won top awards at international olive oil competitions this year.

Opportunities for exploring the world of flavored olive oils have been multiplying as more companies experiment with new production methods and flavor combinations. Olive oil competitions and consumers have responded with interest. Six Greek olive oil company representatives recently discussed their success with this product line.

Every oil Laconiko entered in a competition this year won an award. With one foot in the USA and the other in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece, Diamantis Pierrakos is “truly thankful” for this, “but more importantly grateful to our extended Laconiko family that has supported us, both from the very beginning and through these trying times.” Laconiko’s 54 quality awards for 2020 include Best International Flavored Oil for Laconiko Blood Orange at EVO International Olive Oil Competition (IOOC), Best in Class for Laconiko Tuscan Herb at Japan Olive Oil Prize (JOOP), a Platinum award for Laconiko Meyer Lemon at the London IOOC, and three Grand Prestige Gold awards for Laconiko Dillemon, Basil, and Garlic at TerraOlivo.  

Pierrakos told Greek Liquid Gold he and his team at Laconiko “are passionate, and this is reflected in the consistent quality of all our products.” He credits “the honesty, integrity, and consistency that can be found in every step of the process” of olive cultivation and oil production for his family business’s success. He is not sure what the coming harvest will bring, but “in everything we can control, we will give 200% effort, as we always have.”

The number 200 is significant for another Greek olive oil company, as it represents a milestone they passed. According to ANA-MPA News, the total number of quality awards earned by Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms since 2012 constitutes a “world record with 203 international awards for a Greek organic olive grove.” This year, 100% of the olive oils the company entered in competitions received awards. “That means a lot to us,” Nikos Sakellaropoulos explained, “since it proves that we have achieved a level of product quality that is being recognized by expert panel tasters all over the world in numerous competitions.” 

Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms’ 2020 awards for their unique blends of flavors in their gourmet olive oils include a Best in Class award for Syllektikon at JOOP, Platinum awards for Gemstone at the Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards (GOOA) and the London IOOC, another Platinum for Enigma from London, and a Grand Prestige Gold Award from TerraOlivo for Enigma. In addition, Fyllikon First Harvest Organic extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and Agourelaio Early Harvest EVOO took home Golds from the Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards for their very high concentrations of healthy polyphenols (anti-inflammatory antioxidants).

Another highly awarded producer of distinctive, healthy olive oils is proud to work with Kolovi olives from the island of Lesvos. Ellie Tragakes told Greek Liquid Gold that Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises (HAE’s) healthy EVOO is “highly flavorful and aromatic, while at the same time low in bitterness in spite of having high antioxidants.” The HAE team is “very proud” of their flavored oils, “particularly Acaia with Grapefruit & Bergamot, as the combination of flavors is our own creation and unique. All our flavored oils are made with all-natural essential oils which enhance their healthfulness and are exquisite in taste.”

HAE has good reasons to be proud, since Acaia Grapefruit & Bergamot was judged Best in Class at JOOP, as well as winning a Grand Prestige Gold award from TerraOlivo. HAE’s total of 31 Gold awards this year also includes three Golds at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition for their Acaia, Acaia Organic, and Aeolian Olive EVOOs, making them “the only Greek olive oil producer that received three gold awards” at that competition. Tragakes views their prizes as “testimony to our hard work, commitment, and love for the work we do” in Lesvos.

The Mavroudis family makes their oil from Koroneiki and Lianolia olives on Corfu, an island on the other side of mainland Greece. This year’s honors for their family business, Mavroudis Olive Oil, include Best in Class and Double Gold awards at the Athena IOOC for Mavroudis Gourmet Garlic Olive Oil, Best in Class at JOOP for Mavroudis Gourmet Chili Olive Oil, and recognition as the Best Greek Olive Oil from the Ionian Islands for their Mavroudis EVOO at Athena.

Spiros Mavroudis attributes the success of Mavroudis Olive Oil to “passion and dedication to our product’s quality” at his vertically integrated company. He explains that the Mavroudis family tends and nurtures their own olive groves “to ensure we harvest the best quality olives for our oils.” Milling the olives in their own press, they have “total control of the processing procedure.” Their flavored olive oils include no artificial or condensed flavorings or essential oils--only “top quality ingredients and our own secret family recipe to create superior flavor profiles in the most natural way possible.”

looking up at a man who is standing in an olive grove

Another passionate team makes a wide range of flavored and extra virgin olive oils from olives grown in the Mani peninsula in Peloponnese. Peter Liokareas shared his excitement about winning “more awards than any prior year, even during a time of change and uncertainty.” Liokareas’s dozens of awards this year included a Best in Class for Liokareas Sage at the Los Angeles IOOC and three Grand Prestige Golds for Liokareas Sage, Liokareas Lemon, and Liokareas Organic EVOO at TerraOlivo.

Yet the company does not rest on its laurels. As Liokareas reported,we have a strong passion to continue to improve every year. Even though our family has been doing this for over five generations, every year we learn something new, and every year we get better.” The company’s method for “making cold fused olive oils is a very rare and unique process that most people do not know about.”

Ioanna Diamanti and her colleagues at Pellas Nature also feel awards inspire them “to work even harder, seeking more knowledge.” 2020 award highlights for their extensive range of flavored olive oils include Pellas Nature Red Hot Pepper’s Double Gold medal at the Athena IOOC, Pellas Nature Rosemary’s Platinum award at the London IOOC, and Platinum awards at the Berlin GOOA for Organic Drops Rosemary and Organic Drops Thyme flavored organic olive oils.

Pellas Nature Greek Collection gift box, showing three bottles of flavored olive oil in an open decorative box

Diamanti says these awards “confirmed their olive oil’s value and the hard work of the entire Pellas Nature team” in competition “with some of the best flavored olive oils” in the world. This small family business is so successful thank to hard work, “ultra-premium quality Koroneiki variety” EVOO, and “our own organic plants, chosen with extra care for their flavor and bioactivity,” hand-picked and used fresh with “a natural innovative extraction that ‘respects’ the delicate extra virgin olive oil” they work with. “During the time of the pandemic,” Diamanti added, “these competitions were the most important tool we had to communicate the quality of our products.”

2020 Awards for Greece’s Top Winners in the Flavored Olive Oil Category

quality awards for flavored olive oils, except where EVOOs or health benefits are specified

Laconiko

(Selected Awards)

  • EVO IOOC – Best International Flavored Oil – Laconiko Blood Orange
  • JOOP – Best in Class – Laconiko Tuscan Herb
  • London IOOC – Platinum – Laconiko Meyer Lemon
  • TerraOlivo – 5 Grand Prestige Golds – Laconiko Dillemon, Basil, Garlic, Blood Orange, & Meyer Lemon
  • TerraOlivo – 2 Prestige Golds – Laconiko Tuscan Herb and Laconiko EVOO
  • NYIOOC – Gold – Laconiko EVOO
  • Athena IOOC – 2 Golds – Laconiko EVOO & Laconiko Olio Nuovo EVOO
  • London IOOC – 2 Golds – Laconiko EVOO & Laconiko Olio Nuovo EVOO
  • London IOOC – 4 Golds – Laconiko Basil, Blood Orange, Rosemary, & Herb de Provence flavored oils
  • Dubai IOOC – Gold – Laconiko EVOO
  • Olive Japan – Gold – Laconiko Olio Nuovo EVOO
  • CINVE – Gold – Laconiko Olio Nuovo EVOO
  • EVO IOOC – 6 Golds – Laconiko Dillemon, Basil, Blood Orange, Tuscan Herb, Rosemary, & Meyer Lemon
  • JOOP – 2 Golds – Laconiko Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon
  • L’Orciolo d’Oro IOOC – Quality – Laconiko EVOO
  • Leone d’Oro – Selezione Leone – Laconiko EVOO & Laconiko Olio Nuovo EVOO

Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms

(Selected Awards)

  • Berlin GOOA 2020 – Platinum – Gemstone Flavored Blend      
  • Berlin GOOA 2020 – 2 Golds – Majestic Flavored Blend & Enigma Flavored Gourmet
  • EVO IOOC – 3 Golds – Enigma Flavored Gourmet, Gemstone Flavored Blend, & Majestic Flavored Blend  
  • EVO IOOC – 4 Silvers – Oleoastron, Syllektikon, & Enstagma Flavored & Fyllikon First Harvest Organic EVOO
  • EVO IOOC – 2 Silvers – Agourelaio Early Harvest Organic & Armonia Monovarietal Organic EVOOs
  • TerraOlivo – Grand Prestige Gold – Enigma Flavored Gourmet
  • TerraOlivo – 2 Prestige Golds – Gemstone Flavored Blend & Fyllikon Organic First Harvest EVOO
  • TerraOlivo – 2 Golds – Agourelaio Early Harvest Organic EVOO & Armonia Organic Monovarietal EVOO
  • TerraOlivo – 5 Golds – Majestic, Syllektikon, Enstagma Saffron and Sage, Enstagma Saffron, & Enstagma Saffron and Rosemary Flavored
  • JOOP – Best in Class - Aromatic – Syllektikon Flavored
  • JOOP – 6 Golds – Majestic, Enigma, Gemstone, Oleoastron, & Enstagma Saffron and Sage Flavored, & Fyllikon First Harvest Organic EVOO
  • London IOOC – 2 Platinums – Enigma Flavored Gourmet & Gemstone Flavored Blend
  • London IOOC – 4 Golds – Majestic, Oleoastron, & Enstagma Saffron and Sage Flavored, & Fyllikon First Harvest Organic EVOO
  • Athena IOOC – Gold – Gemstone Flavored Blend
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – 2 Gold Health Benefits Awards – Fyllikon First Harvest & Agourelaio Early Harvest EVOOs

Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises

  • TerraOlivo – Grand Prestige Gold – Acaia Flavored with Grapefruit & Bergamot
  • TerraOlivo IOOC – Prestige Gold – Acaia Flavored with Lemon & Oregano
  • JOOP – Best in Class – Acaia Flavored with Grapefruit & Bergamot
  • JOOP – 5 Golds – Acaia Flavored with Lemon & Oregano, Acaia EVOO, Aeolian Olive EVOO, Acaia EVOO Organic, Aeolian EVOO Organic
  • Athena IOOC – 4 Golds – Acaia Flavored with Grapefruit & Bergamot, Acaia with Lemon & Oregano, Acaia EVOO Organic, Acaia EVOO
  • London IOOC – Gold – Acaia Flavored with Grapefruit & Bergamot
  • London IOOC – Silver – Acaia Flavored with Lemon & Oregano
  • EVO IOOC – Gold – Acaia Flavored with Grapefruit & Bergamot
  • EVO IOOC – Silver – Acaia Flavored with Lemon & Oregano
  • Olive Japan – 3 Golds – Acaia EVOO, Aeolian Olive EVOO, Aeolian EVOO Organic
  • Olive Japan – Silver – Acaia Flavored with Grapefruit & Bergamot
  • New York IOOC – Gold – Acaia EVOO, Aeolian Olive EVOO, Aeolian EVOO Organic
  • TerraOlivo – 3 Grand Prestige Golds – Acaia EVOO, Aeolian Olive EVOO, Aeolian EVOO Organic

Mavroudis Olive Oil

  • Athena IOOC – Double Gold – Mavroudis Gourmet Garlic Olive Oil
  • Athena IOOC – Best in Class - Aromatic Olive Oils – Mavroudis Gourmet Garlic Olive Oil
  • JOOP – Gold – Mavroudis Gourmet Garlic Olive Oil
  • Athena IOOC – Gold Medal for Quality – Mavroudis Gourmet Chili Olive Oil
  • JOOP – Best in Class - Aromatic Olive Oils – Mavroudis Gourmet Chili Olive Oil
  • Athena IOOC – Gold – Mavroudis Gourmet Basil Olive Oil
  • JOOP – Gold – Mavroudis Gourmet Basil Olive Oil
  • Athena IOOC – Gold – Mavroudis Gourmet Oregano Olive Oil
  • JOOP – Silver – Mavroudis Gourmet Oregano Olive Oil
  • JOOP – Gold – Mavroudis Gourmet Rosemary Olive Oil
  • Athena IOOC – Best Greek Olive Oil from the Ionian Islands -- Mavroudis EVOO

Liokareas

  • Los Angeles IOOC – Best in Class – Liokareas Sage
  • Los Angeles IOOC – 2 Golds – Liokareas Orange & Sage
  • Los Angeles IOOC – 4 Bronzes – Liokareas Early Harvest EVOO & Liokareas Lemon, Basil & Oregano
  • EVO-IOOC Italy – 6 Golds – Liokareas Sage, Orange, Lemon, Oregano, Basil, & Rosemary
  • EVO-IOOC Italy – 3 Golds – Liokareas Organic EVOO, Early Harvest EVOO, & Wild EVOO
  • Athena IOOC – 3 Golds – Liokareas Sage, Lemon, & Basil
  • Athena IOOC – 2 Silvers – Liokareas Orange & Liokareas Organic EVOO
  • Athena IOOC – 4 Bronzes – Liokareas Early Harvest EVOO & Athinolia EVOO, & Liokareas Oregano & Rosemary
  • TerraOlivo – 3 Grand Prestige Golds – Liokareas Sage &  Lemon & Liokareas Organic EVOO
  • TerraOlivo – 2 Prestige Golds – Liokareas Orange & Oregano
  • TerraOlivo – 2 Golds – Liokareas Early Harvest EVOO & Liokareas Basil
  • NYIOOC – Silver – Early Harvest EVOO

Pellas Nature

  • Athena IOOC – Double Gold – Pellas Nature Red Hot Pepper
  • Athena IOOC – Gold – Pellas Nature Basil
  • Athena IOOC – Gold – Pellas Nature Lemon    
  • Athena IOOC – Gold – Pellas Nature Greek Herbs
  • London IOOC – Platinum – Pellas Nature Rosemary
  • London IOOC – Gold – Pellas Nature Red Hot Pepper
  • London IOOC – Gold – Pellas Nature Oregano
  • London IOOC – Silver – Pellas Nature Basil   
  • London IOOC – Silver – Pellas Nature Garlic   
  • Los Angeles IOOC – Bronze – Pellas Nature Lemon   
  • Berlin GOOA – Platinum – Organic Drops Rosemary organic   
  • Berlin GOOA – Platinum – Organic Drops Thyme organic   
  • Berlin GOOA – Gold – Organic Drops Lemon organic 

Due to time and space limitations, this article about some of the top Greek winners among flavored olive oil condiments at major international olive oil quality competitions was unable to mention many of the excellent, multi-award-winning Greek olive oils that earned prizes this year. It focuses on the Greek companies that won “best” awards or a competition’s highest award for their flavored olive oil, plus at least one more of the highest category of general awards at a second competition (Grand Prestige Gold, Gold, etc., depending on the competition) for either a flavored olive oil or an extra virgin, suggesting a very favorable “second opinion.” Greek Liquid Gold’s previous article featured top award winning Greek extra virgin olive oils; a future article will discuss extra healthy Greek EVOOs.

Thanks to Laconiko, Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms, Liokareas, and Pellas Nature for the photos used with this article.

All businesses, organizations, and competitions involved with Greek olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and/or agrotourism or food tourism in Greece, as well as anyone else interested in supporting Greeks working in these sectors, are now invited to consider the advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil website. The only wide-ranging English-language site featuring news and information from the Greek olive oil world, it has reached readers in more than 200 countries around the globe.

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