Having a bottle of good olive oil in the kitchen is essential for many of us. To help you pick the best among all the choices, we list the best Turkish olive oil brands and types of products you should know.
Turkish olive oil types
Olive oils for consumption can reach up to 3.3 percent acidity level – the lower the level, the higher the quality and healthier the product. Global acidity norms are set by the International Olive Oil Council.
Naturel sızma zeytinyağı – extra virgin 100 percent raw olive oil has the lowest level of acidity, at under 0.8 percent. Due to its high nutritional value it should be consumed cold. Some production facilities, such as Özgün in Ayvalık, offer taş baskı naturel sızma zeytinyağı – the highest quality oil pressed cold (27 degrees Celsius) using traditional stone presses.
Before olives ripen fully, they are often collected to make the first oil of the season, erken hasat naturel sızma zeytinyağı. Early harvest oils of bitter, peppery flavor, tend to be more expensive since more olives are needed to make the same amount of oil as later in season. If you want to make sure your oil was made this year, choose yeni hasat with the appropriate date.
Naturel birinci zeytinyağı – virgin olive oil with acidity level between 0.8 and 2 percent. Laleli, an olive oil manufacturer based in Taylıeli Köyü, Burhaniye, makes excellent yemeklik naturel birinci zeytinyağı of 1.5 percent acidity.
Naturel zeytinyağı is an equivalent of virgin olive oil with acidity not higher than 2 percent.
Rafine zeytinyağı is refined olive oil of acidity level higher than 2 percent, also referred to as ‘pure.’ In the old times, this type of oil was used in oil lanterns.
Despite its low acidity under 1 percent, riviera type is a mixture of virgin and refined oils, and its flavor differs significantly from natural virgin oils.
Top 7 Turkish boutique olive oil brands
Selatin is an international award-winning, unfiltered olive oil made by experienced oleologist Selin Ertür, a fourth-generation maker of olive oil from Edremit. The family’s olive oil facility dates back to 1899 when it produced its first bottle, and includes a museum. Order online.
Founded in 2012 in Urla, Hiç olive oil focuses on organic farming, sustainable production, and using renewable sources of energy. Founder Duygu Elakdar sets new and high standards for herself and other producers in the area. Order online.
The family-owned olive oil company Kürşat, with production facilities in Ayvalık and a flagship store in Istanbul, is constantly expanding and adding value to its boutique production. Visit the shop at Şakayık Sokak No.75/B, Nişantaşı, or buy online.
Although its founders bring four generations of olive-cultivating experience to the table, Orfion is the youngest brand on the list. Based in the Erenköy township of Çanakkale province, the company takes its name from the area’s name in ancient times. Order online or or buy from Milano Gourmet in Teşvikiye.
Kilye is the sister brand of Turkish wine producer Suvla from Eceabat. In addition to olive oil, it offers a wide range of olive-based products, as well as jams, marmalades, pastes, sauces, and more. Kilye products are made true to nature, with no additives or chemicals. Buy from Suvla shops in Cihangir, Kanyon, and Emaar Square, or order online.
Laleli is the brand behind one of the most exclusive products on the market; their antik naturel sızma zeytinyağı (natural extra virgin olive oil) is made of olives collected from trees over a century old. Pick up from the company’s Bebek shop at Cevdet Paşa Caddesi No.46/D, Bebek, or buy online.
Processing the olives in just three hours is the secret behind Dino’s wholesome flavor. This Ayvalık-based producer also offers natural scented soaps. Order online.