At the 23rd Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition in 2022, 517 olive oil samples were submitted by 246 producers based in 16 countries. Although this longstanding contest in California is not one of the major showcases for Greek olive oils, producers of Greek extra virgin olive oils and flavored olive oils took home dozens of awards.
Laconiko collected the largest number of medals for Greek oils at this competition: three gold medals, five silvers, and two bronzes for their wide range of creatively flavored olive oils, plus a silver and a bronze for their Koroneiki variety extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) from Laconia, Peloponnese. The co-founder of this family business, Diamantis Pierrakos, told Greek Liquid Gold he and his team are delighted “that all of the olive oils we entered in this competition received an award, so we were recognized for both the quality of our Koroneiki olive oils and our cold crushed fruit and herb flavored olive oils.”
Pierrakos explained that Laconiko entered the Los Angeles competition so a broader audience in the United States could learn about their products’ high quality. He emphasized his team’s “dedication to producing the highest quality products consistently,” based on “the quality of our fruit, the process, the flavor and most importantly the health aspects that ALL of our olive oils offer.” Pierrakos added, “every time our quality is recognized, it is an honor for us, but more importantly proof of our quality for our customers.”
The team at Liokareas Olive Oil also feels grateful for their two gold medals, two silver medals, and four bronzes for an impressive variety of their flavored olive oils, plus a bronze medal for their Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil from Mani, Peloponnese. Awarded for flavored oils that range from orange to leek and from basil to chili, Peter Liokareas explains that his company uses Koroneiki olives and “real fruits and herbs from Mani in our cold-fused flavors. There are no artificial flavors, and everything is 100% Greek.”
Mentioning that all their awards are the result of “very hard work,” Liokareas adds that high quality olive oil is “very important” at this point in time because extensive research “shows how excellent olive oil not only adds great flavor to all your cooking, but is extremely healthy.” Their numerous awards from the Los Angeles competition help them communicate their products’ quality to American consumers.
Winning a gold medal for Pellas Nature Oregano flavored olive oil and a silver for Pellas Nature Basil olive oil, Ioanna Diamanti emphasizes that her small family business invests in quality. For example, they participate in research and certification programs, most recently obtaining Kosher certification. Moreover, Diamanti explains, “we produce our flavored olive oils with an innovative green procedure that respects the EVOO. We use fresh plants for the production process, plants in full bioactivity. This gives our products a very fresh and full flavor and a unique aftertaste that is sustainable over time.” Diamanti says her team’s goal is “to give our clients the best experience of health-oriented fine Greek food.”
Entering the Los Angeles competition for the first time to see what its judges thought of their product, Katerina Bougatsou and her team at Stalia feel honored to have their Stalia extra virgin olive oil win gold awards for both quality and bottle design. They make their Koroneiki variety olive oil from olives grown in Messenia, Peloponnese. Like many other companies that strive for perfection, Bougatsou says, “we love what we are doing. We believe that all together we can present Greek premium EVOO to the whole world.”
Vassiliki Tsilivarakou of MFSA, makers of Olea Juice extra virgin olive oils, considers the gold medal for their medium intensity Olea Juice Pink EVOO and its silver award for design welcome rewards for their team’s hard work. This EVOO is a blend of Manaki and Koroneiki olives grown in Peloponnese, Greece. Tsilivarakou believes excellent olive oil like Olea Juice Pink is “of the utmost importance” for the consumers of the world at this particularly challenging time.
Occurring relatively early in the olive oil competition season, the Los Angeles competition enabled a number of Greek olive oil producers to get off to a good start. With additional competition results coming out regularly, more good news about this authentic Greek product will appear soon.
Los Angeles Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards for Greek Companies
(Copied from the pdf available under Awards by Country on the competition website, with “Design award:” added for clarification in the appropriate spots here)
BRONZE MEDAL Medium, Kolovi, Organic, Greece 2022
GOLD MEDAL Flavored, Lemon, Greece
GOLD MEDAL Flavored, Lime, Greece
GOLD MEDAL Flavored, Citrus Habanero, Greece
SILVER MEDAL Flavored, Blood Orange, Greece
SILVER MEDAL Flavored, Lemon Thyme, Greece
SILVER MEDAL Flavored, Garlic, Greece
SILVER MEDAL Flavored, Greek Seasoning, Greece
SILVER MEDAL Flavored, Tuscan Herb, Greece
SILVER MEDAL Medium, Koroneiki, OLIO NUOVO, Greece 2022
BRONZE MEDAL Flavored, DillLemon, Greece
BRONZE MEDAL Flavored, Basil, Greece
BRONZE MEDAL Medium, Koroneiki, Southern Peloponnese 2022
GOLD MEDAL Flavored, Orange, Estate Grown, Kalamata
GOLD MEDAL Flavored, Leek, Cold Fused, Kalamata
SILVER MEDAL Flavored, Rosemary, Cold Fused, Kalamata
SILVER MEDAL Flavored, Sage, Cold Fused, Kalamata
BRONZE MEDAL Robust, Koroneiki, Early Harvest, Kalamata
BRONZE MEDAL Flavored, Garlic, Cold Fused, Kalamata
BRONZE MEDAL Flavored, Chili, Cold Fused, Kalamata
BRONZE MEDAL Flavored, Oregano, Cold Fused, Kalamata
BRONZE MEDAL Flavored, Basil, Cold Fused, Kalamata
BRONZE MEDAL Delicate, Koroneiki, Origin Astros, Greece 2022
GOLD MEDAL Medium, Pink, Greece / Design award: Silver – Series
GOLD MEDAL Flavored, Oregano, infused, Greece
SILVER MEDAL Flavored, Basil, infused, Greece
GOLD MEDAL Medium, Koroneiki, Greece / Design award: Gold – Eye Candy
SILVER MEDAL Medium, Koroneiki, Estate, Organic, Greece 2021
BRONZE MEDAL Medium, Koroneiki, Grand Cru, Greece 2021 / Design award: Bronze – Modern Classic
SILVER MEDAL Medium, Lianolia, Limited Edition, Greece / Design award: Gold – Judges Choice
SILVER MEDAL Medium, Koroneiki, BIO,Organic, Early Harvest, Greece / Design award: Silver – Shelf Appeal
Thanks to Laconiko for the photos that appear with this article.
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(This story was originally published on Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (greekliquidgold.com). See that site for recipes with olive oil, photos from Greece, and olive oil news and information.)