Turkish Olive and Olive Oil
Turkish olives and their oil are an integral part of Turkish cuisine. From breakfast tables with cheese or feta and raki to creating the ultimate Mediterranean salads, olives are an indispensable element to Turkish culinary history.
Turkish olive oils are considered smoother and less pungent than their Italian or Greek counterparts; specifically the Domat and Gemlik varieties.
Early Life and Education
Olives have long been a key element of Turkish cuisine. Olives can be found in dishes like stuffed vine leaves and even served as an appetizer!
The Mediterranean climate provides ideal conditions for olive cultivation, as its trees can withstand various geographic conditions and thrive with relative ease. Furthermore, this crop produces high yield per hectare.
Olive trees are economically and culturally important plants, with multiple cultivars necessary to meet local demands. A molecular genetic diversity assessment was completed for 66 olive varieties using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers – highly polymorphic tools used for measuring olive genetic diversity.
Turkish olives have long been one of the leading producers of olive oil worldwide, thanks to efforts over the last ten years that have increased yield and production facilities. Turkish olive oil is known for its high-quality oil as well as numerous healthy varieties.
Olive oil is an integral part of Turkish culture and plays an essential role in many dishes prepared in Turkey, from traditional bathing rituals to being an ingredient of borek – one of their popular snacks.
Join a traditional Turkish village olive harvest and gain insight into traditional methods for picking, pressing, and producing oil. Plus you’ll enjoy a hands-on cooking class where you’ll learn to prepare some classic Turkish dishes like borek and baklava! End the day in a cozy farmhouse where families live so that you experience life like it was lived locally!
Achievement and Honors
As one of the world’s largest olive oil producers, Turkey continues to make significant strides in terms of olive production and quality. Over the past decade alone, its national olive yield increased while processing facilities doubled in number.
Utilizing cutting-edge science, innovative new techniques, and meticulous care in production methods, its olive producers are charting groundbreaking new courses with an ancient product. Olive oil has long been recognized for its many health benefits not just to those who consume it but also the ecosystem in the forests where it grows.
At the 2023 NYIOOC competition, Turkish producers achieved an unprecedented feat: winning more than half of all gold medals awarded – an exceptional accomplishment. Additionally, one Turkish producer was honored with the JOOP Design Award, given for excellence in conveying product identity through bottle and label designs.
Turkey, one of the top producers of olives and olive oil worldwide, holds it sacred in their culture as an integral component of both cuisine and everyday life. Olives have always been at the core of Turkish life. Today they play an essential part in daily life as part of its cultural identity and economic vitality.
Olives and olive oil are cornerstones of Turkish cuisine, used both in filling dolmas as well as making spicy peppery dipping sauce. Our founder Zati Uysal introduced his love of simple yet wholesome cuisine to Piedmont Avenue in Oakland where his restaurant, Zatis Delightfully Turkish still thrives today.
Turkey produces olive oils with more delicate and refreshing flavors than those produced elsewhere in the Mediterranean region. Look out for early harvest olive oil made from immature, unripened olives as this variety tends to be more expensive with an aggressive bitter-peppery note.
Turkey is among the top five producers of olive oil worldwide and its cuisine centers around this humble ingredient. Be it at breakfast time or as an appetizer, Turkish culinary creations make maximum use of this natural resource in their dishes.
Turkey’s olive groves are concentrated in coastal zones where Mediterranean climate conditions favor olive growth; however, their yield remains relatively low.
As late summer comes around, villages all along the coast begin harvesting olives. Mats are spread on the ground while people shake branches to gather these precious fruits; depending on when you pick them they can make pickled or cured olives as well as various types of olive oil.