My yiayia (Greek for grandmother) never learned to speak English and had an urban farm way before it was cool. She did it because she was poor. She did it because the produce in the American grocery system didn’t taste real to her. In fact, she didn’t trust it. She wanted to cook with flavors from her homeland, so she grew her own, many of which she brought from Greece as seeds and starts.
As a kid, I was embarrassed by this way of eating, but my mother patiently encouraged me to keep an open mind and insisted I eat what was offered. Few things have influenced me more than my Greek mother. This includes my relationship to flavors and food. Thanks to what she and my yiayia provided, I am drawn to flavors that are off the beaten path.
For the products we carry at Caputo’s, I look for the different and even the strange: flavors that are at risk of being left out of our increasingly homogenized food system if we don’t protect them. This olive oil, protected by the European Union and bearing the PDO seal, is just such a product. It is made with olives grown near the ancient port town of Chania on my mother’s ancestral island of Crete, Greece. The Caputo family has spent several summers there getting to know the local cuisine on an island that consumes more olive oil per capita than anywhere in the world. Cretan food is practically swimming in olive oil just like this one. I researched and tasted many to find the best example of this special oil. It is dedicated to my mother, and we are excited to share it with you.
– Matt Caputo
- Also featured on our blog: Our Big Fat Greek Vacation Meets Caputo’s Greek EVOO!