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Croatia’s Olive Oil Production

One of the joys of traveling is the food connection. While in Croatia later this month for IWINETC, we are looking forward to learning about the cuisine as well as the Croatian wine varieties and olive oils.

A few days ago Terry noted that we are almost out of olive oil in the kitchen. Recalling that I had read that Croatia has olive groves, I figured we would wait to buy olive oil while in Croatia. According to some online sources, Croatia has only 0.2 percent of the world’s global olive oil market.

Tourists will discover large areas of Croatia along the Adriatic Sea with many olive groves. According to the International Olive Council, the majority of the olive oil groves are less than one hectare.  In 2009 only 10 producers had more than 50 hectares. Croatia has 30,000 hectares (74,131 acres) of olive groves. More acreage is added each year. Today Croatia is home to many olive varieties. However, olive varieties are dominated by the Lastovka, Drobnica, Buža, and Oblica varieties.

According to “Croatian Olive Oil” booklet published in 2012, “Findings of olive pits in Vrnjica, near Split, prove that the olive was cultivated for five centuries prior to the Greek settlement in the area.” Ancient olive oil presses have been discovered on Brijuni island where it is also reported that a 1600-year-old olive tree is growing.

Like numerous areas of the world that have wine trails, the Istria region of Croatia has “olive oil roads.” Olive oil producers have setup tasting rooms. Look for opportunities to discover Croatian olive oil tasting sites.

While visiting Croatia be on the look out for Croatian olive oils. Reportedly, Zagreb the capital of Croatia has an Olive Oil Gallery. I am hoping to make a quick trip to investigate and hope they offer olive oil tastings.


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