Each October -- in the foothills of Mount Taygetos, overlooking the fabled city of ancient Sparta -- Mr. Eugene Ladopolous and his family prepare to harvest and press the season’s olive crop. Centuries old wild stock line the green hills where locals continue a tradition of sustainable production that extends unbroken into the Bronze Age.
Once the trees are relieved of their fruit, it is pressed and the Ladapolous family’s liquid gold is left to rest and settle; the process guided only by the forces of gravity and nature.
Just as the last sediments make their way to the bottom of the barrel, a group of friends on the other side of the Atlantic turn on the taps -- inviting loved ones and enthusiasts of good things to bring the fruits of this vanishing tradition and ethos to their corner of the world. Over ten years, the circle of oil sharing friends has grown from a modest email list to a league of over four hundred Mistra Estates devotees. And we are so proud to be purveyors of this amazing product and legacy.
This past year, I had the pleasure of traveling to the farm, spending time and breaking bread with the family. It's no wonder people say the Greeks invented hospitality. The Ladopolous family are the most gracious hosts and deeply passionate about sharing their craft.
Eating local is always best, but knowing your farmer---wherever they are---reminds us that we are all working together to encourage healthy, delicious and convivial eating, whether we focus that effort on our family, our community or the globe!
Olive oil is delicious, healthy and versatile---most suitable for dressings and marinades, but is also great in baked goods (trust us). Pick up a bottle of Mistra Estates at Second Street Farm to Market. Available now until the harvest year sells out!