The Larchmont Couple Keeping the Family Olive Oil Tradition Alive
Kontoulis Family Olive Oil originates from olive groves in the Messinia region of Greece and travels to the Sound Shore of Westchester
In 2006, Demetra Kontoulis inherited a grove of olive trees in her native village of Strefi, nestled in a corner of Greece. “My grandfather planted 300 koroneiki olive trees a century ago, and I wanted to keep the farm functioning,” Kontoulis says. She and husband Athanasios, who live in Larchmont, traveled to Greece and oversaw the first harvest, which they sold to family and friends. Word of the “liquid gold” spread, and now Kontoulis Family Olive Oil produces as much as 4,000 lbs of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) annually, or approximately 1,500 one-liter bottles.
Unlike larger companies, Kontoulis Olive Oil is a scratch operation. “My husband and I go to Greece every year to oversee the harvest,” Kontoulis adds. “After we harvest the olives, they’re cold-pressed at the local mill.” (Heat increases oil production but degrades the flavor, thus the premium on cold-press olive oil.) The oil is returned to Kontoulis, who ships the EVOO back to Larchmont, where it is bottled and then sold at farmers’ markets throughout Westchester and at www.kontoulisfamily.com.
Kontoulis Olive Oil is a deep-green color and lightly fragranced with a peppery kick and a fruity, grassy flavor, lending nuance to all sorts of dishes. But, a caveat: The oil loses its heart-healthy benefits when heated above 400˚F.
Kontoulis Family Olive Oil