Olive Oil as a Greek PDO Product

Olive oil, one of the most iconic and integral ingredients in Greek cuisine, has been produced in Greece for thousands of years. The country’s diverse landscapes and climate conditions contribute to the unique characteristics of Greek olive oils. With over 30 Greek olive oils awarded the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, these exceptional products showcase their quality, traditional production methods, and strong ties to their regions of origin. This page explores olive oil as a Greek PDO product, delving into its characteristics and role in Greek culinary traditions.

Greek PDO Olive Oils

Regions and Varieties

Greece is home to over 30 PDO olive oils, each with distinct characteristics tied to their specific regions of origin. Some notable Greek PDO olive oils include:

Kolymvari Chania Crete

Produced in the Kolymvari region of Chania, Crete, this PDO olive oil is derived from the Koroneiki olive variety. It is known for its fruity aroma, well-balanced flavor, and low acidity.

Sitia Lasithiou Kritis

Also originating from Crete, this PDO olive oil is produced in the Sitia region of Lasithi. Made from the Koroneiki olive variety, it features a fruity and slightly bitter taste with a peppery finish.


Produced in the Kalamata region of the Peloponnese, this PDO olive oil is made from the Koroneiki olive variety. Its distinct characteristics include a deep green color, fruity aroma, and a mild, balanced flavor.


Originating from the Lakonia region in the Peloponnese, this PDO olive oil is made from a combination of Koroneiki and Athinolia olive varieties. It is known for its golden-green color, fruity taste, and slightly bitter and pungent finish.


This PDO olive oil is produced on the island of Lesbos using the Adramytiani and Kolovi olive varieties. It is characterized by a fruity aroma, medium intensity, and a balanced bitterness and pungency.

Peza Irakliou Kritis

Coming from the Peza region in Heraklion, Crete, this PDO olive oil is made from the Koroneiki olive variety. It boasts a fruity aroma, mild bitterness, and a slightly peppery taste.


Produced on the island of Samos, this PDO olive oil is made primarily from the local Samian olive variety. It features a fruity aroma, a balanced bitterness, and a pleasant pungency.

The Role of PDO Olive Oils in Greek Cuisine

Olive oil is a fundamental ingredient in Greek cuisine, used in cooking, seasoning, and as a key component of various dishes. PDO olive oils, with their unique characteristics, add depth and complexity to the flavors of Greek cuisine. They are often used in the preparation of traditional Greek dishes, such as grilled fish, roasted vegetables, and various meze. PDO olive oils are also commonly used in salad dressings, marinades, and for drizzling over dishes to enhance their flavors.

Supporting Greek PDO Olive Oils

By choosing Greek PDO olive oils, consumers not only enjoy the authentic flavors and high quality of these products but also support local producers and contribute to the preservation of traditional production methods. The PDO label serves as a guarantee of a product’s origin and adherence to strict production standards, making it easier for consumers to make informed choices.

Exploring Greek PDO Olive Oils in Your Cooking

Incorporating Greek PDO olive oils into your own cooking can elevate your dishes and introduce you to new flavors and techniques. To experience the full range of tastes and qualities, consider trying various PDO olive oils from different regions of Greece. Each oil will impart its unique characteristics to your dishes, making them truly special and authentic.

Greek PDO Olive Oils and Culinary Education

Culinary schools and institutions play a vital role in promoting the use of Greek PDO olive oils by educating students, chefs, and food enthusiasts about their significance and culinary applications. By incorporating Greek PDO olive oils into their curriculums, culinary schools can help preserve traditional Greek cooking techniques and ensure that future generations appreciate the value of these exceptional products.

In conclusion, Greek PDO olive oils embody the rich history, diverse terroirs, and skilled craftsmanship of Greek olive oil producers. As a cornerstone of Greek and Cypriot cuisine, these exceptional oils deserve recognition and appreciation for their contribution to the unique flavors and techniques that define the Mediterranean culinary experience. By understanding, promoting, and using Greek PDO olive oils, we can support local producers, preserve culinary traditions, and enhance our own cooking with authentic, high-quality ingredients.