I think that the secret
to a great dish… …is found in the ingredients
used to create it. So, what is more characteristic
than the etible olives?I’m here in Kalamata
to follow the whole process…
…from the harvest of the olives
to the creation of the product. Why is it named
Kalamata Olives? Olives are now cultivated
in many countries. But we are in Kalamata,
the birthplace of Kalamata Olives… …and we’re here to find out
all the secrets of the processing. Let’s go on a quick trip
to find out all about it. I’m Yiannis Apostolakis
and I am a chef. The olive tree.
Since ancient times… …it is considered to be
nature’s gift to Greece. In mythology, it symbolizes
peace, fertility and prudence. It is also an important source
of nutrients for the human body. The olive groves,
the olives and the olive oil… …are very important products
for Greece, from the past. Today, it still remains the most
basic agricultural product… …and it is very important
for our economy. There was another dimension to it,
it meant a lot of things. Homer has written
that in ancient times… …the olive trees were so sacred
that only the virgins and eunuchs… …were allowed to touch them.
It sounds funny… …but it had been written
around 500 BC. They were the only ones allowed,
because they were so pure. Herodotus
had also mentioned… …that it was forbidden to destroy
an olive tree, there was a punishment. They knew since then
that it is a very important tree… …as it still is today. It’s very
important for our economy… …and probably the most important
agriculutural product, at this time. Why are the olives and olive
oil of Kalamata, so special? Why are they considered the best,
worldwide? First of all… …it’s the climatic conditions,
the sun and the temperature. Secondly, olive groves
in Kalamata are a family affair. Every family has a small field
and cultivates it meticulously. There is no
industrialization here. It’s not only that this variety
of Kalamata olives thrives here. It’s also because
of the way the olives are picked. Each olive is picked by hand, they’re
carefuly selected and sorted… …just so they don’t get scarred
and we follow the traditional recipe. The secrets are passed down
from generation to generation… …and that’s the reason
we have the best results. Low acidity olive oil
and the best quality olives. We are in the place where
the olives are being processed. After they’ve been harvested
from the field, each one by hand… …every grower brings the olives
here, where the first stage begins. The sorting: We keep the good ones
and we throw away the damaged ones. Then, the olives are fermented
in brine, for three months. There are procedures
to ripen the olives faster… …but in this place,
the procedure is traditional… …and the olives are ripened right,
in brine for three months. The color of the genuine Kalmata olive
varies from red to black… …it’s almond-shaped
and its kernel is red.We have observed
the following phenomena:
There is a special technical process
that can turn a green olive to black… …and then it can be sold
as Kalamata olive. Many people do not know,
they’re not familiar with the product. But we can tell that it’s not
the genuine Kalamata olive… …by its round shape
and of course, by the kernel. This exploitation
also happens with the name. This variety is grown in many
countries of the Mediterranean. Instead of stating that
it’s a type of Kalamata olive… …they use the word Kalamata,
suggesting that it’s from Kalamata. Our olives have special marking
to show not only their variety… …but their origin, as well.
That’s why we say they’re authentic. Let’s make a sandwich with
syglino Manis and feta spread. If you can’t find syglino,
you can replace it with bacon… …smoked pork or tsoritho.
So, we start with the syglino. Place a striped pan on medium heat.
We’ve cut the meat in slices… …and we put it in the pan
to drain the fat from it. If the pan is too hot,
the fat will stay in the meat. We just want to heat it up a bit,
so we let it cook for 5 minutes total. While the meat is cooking, we’ll make
a spread with the feta cheese. We’ll need 150 grams of feta,
which we put in a bowl. We’ll also need about 10 leaves
of finely chopped fresh mint. Three tablespoons of olive oil… …and freshly ground pepper.
No salt, feta is salty enough. We crumble the feta with a fork,
until it forms a paste. The syglino needs another 2 minutes.
Now, we choose the bread we like. We have here, a baguette
and whole wheat bread. Now, we cut the bread in portions.
We cut the ends, if it’s a baguette… …and the rest of it,
in about 15 cm portions. We slice it… We leave one side uncut,
to keep the ingredients inside. This way, we can handle
everything with great ease. Pour some olive oil… …and place the bread
in the pan, upside down. We want the imprint
of the stripes, the aroma… …and we also get
a crispy texture this way. Now, this is very important!
When we make a sandwich… …we always consider the size
of the mouthful we can eat. So we don’t cut
the bread too thick… …and the ingredients we use,
shouldn’t be too much. The meat is ready, it’s soft now
and we remove it from the pan. After it’s heated, this is the result.
The bread is ready… …and we’ll fry the other
two slices in the same way. We’ll need some olive paste,
but if you don’t have it… …remove the pit from the olives
and mash them in a blender. We spread the paste
on one side… And we spread all ingredients
evenly, as much as possible. This way we have homogeneity,
each mouthful has the same taste. We’ll do the same thing with
the feta spread, on the other side. Cut the syglino
as fine as you can. Take a sharp knife
and slice it thin. Spread it evenly on one side.
We also need a tomato, a few slices… Some pepper… A few rocket leaves
or any other greens and finally… …a touch of olive oil. Very easy and fast, we have
a sandwich as greek as it can get!