The Chiavalon brothers turn a hobby into a serious business and export their oils to fifteen countries around the world.
“Olive oil and white truffle can bring Croatia to the very top of world gastronomy rankings. I am proud that, for the last fifteen years, our family has been offering a top product: the Chiavalon olive oil, which we have been exporting to the US market for the past two years. Many of our clients are Americans who visit us at our tasting room in Vodnjan, and we are glad that they can buy it when they return home. It is a great pleasure to have an oil tasting in New York, and I hope that these events will become a tradition,” said Sandi Chiavalon, an olive oil producer from Istria, reports Večernji List on February 6, 2018.
Olive oil production, which was a hobby for him for twenty years ago, has grown into a serious family business which he manages together with his younger brother Tedi and wife Nikolina. They produce annually about 20 tons of olive oil and export it to fifteen countries around the world.
In New York, they recently presented the highly prized Ex Albis olive oil, which has been listed among the top 15 of the world’s best olive oil brands by the most prestigious olive oil guide Flos Olei. Also, the World’s Best Olive Oil organisation listed them last year as one of the top 25 environmentally-friendly olive oil producers in the world.
“We presented a mix of five types of olive oil. There is a huge demand for the product, especially in Japan and Taiwan, where our quality has been praised by top chefs,” said Sandi Chiavalon, who held two tastings in New York: the first at a prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel (which will offer the Chiavalon olive oil to its guests), and the second at a dinner for about forty guests at the Oro restaurant.
For this occasion, Đani Barbiš, a chef at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and a culinary expert Darko Matošić, who works for one of the top New York restaurants Le Bernardin, which carries three Michelin stars, created a menu with Croatian specialties: bass fish, octopus salad, shrimps with cuttlefish ink, sea urchin and chard, filet mignon and pancakes.
According to Chiavalon, “the most important breakthrough in the production of extra virgin olive oil for them was when they introduced an early harvest and same-day processing principle. The process involves harvesting healthy olives when about one-third of the fruits have changed their colour and processing them the same day in a modern plant using the cold press method, under a controlled atmosphere. Such a process ensures that the olive oil remains exactly the same as it was in the fruit, non-oxidized, with a very low free fatty acids level. Once the olives are processed and the oil reaches the cellar, the olive oil is stored in stainless steel containers with inert gas, which prevents oxidation, at a constant temperature of 16 degrees Celsius.”
Translated from Večernji List.