Croatia has one of the best olive oils in the world, especially when we talk about extra virgin olive oils. One of the biggest reasons for that is that no massive companies produce thousands and thousands of olive oil. Most olive oil producers in Croatia are smaller family farms trying their best to produce high-quality olive oils.
In this post, I’m bringing you my favorite Croatian olive oils that you can buy in the USA and probably Canada. Unfortunately, not many oils are available because of the distance between Croatia and the USA. However, the ones that are available are the best premium olive oils.
3 Best Croatian Extra Virgin Olive Oils
So, here’s the list of the best olive oils from Croatia.
1. Premium Brachia First Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you’re looking to buy premium extra virgin olive oil with a controlled origin that’s also first cold-pressed (which is the property of the best of the best), look no further. Croatian Premium Brachia Extra Virgin Olive Oil is probably the best choice for you.
The oil comes from the island of Brač, and it is produced by the cooperative of olive growers in Brač. The oil is made from an autochthonous Croatian olive variety called “Oblica”, which is the most commonly planted olive tree variety in Croatia (more than 60% of total planted olive trees).
- First cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- Fruity aroma and rich, peppery taste
- Made the old-fashioned way and picked by hands
- Extremely rich in natural omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols (antioxidants)
- Stored in a proper dark glass container which maintains the quality of olive oil
- Shelf life of 18 months after harvest date
2. Croatian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil “Frantoio” by Ipsa
- Rated 97 / 100 by Flos Olei
- First cold pressed same day of harvest
Ipsa, or Ipša in the Croatian language, is a family estate located in Istria, Republic of Croatia. They have been producing extra virgin olive oil and wine for more than 20 years. One of their best olive oils is Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil “Frantotio”.
This extra virgin olive oil was chosen as one of the top 20 world olive oils in 2011 and 2017. It’s very green in color, and its smell may remind you of olives, artichokes, basil, and rosemary. On the other hand, the taste of this Frantoio extra virgin olive oil may remind you of herbs, with a hint of bitterness and strong zing.
If you didn’t know, Frantoio is one of the best olive tree varieties for making olive oil. Rich harvests and high oil yield make the Frantoio one of the most popular trees amongst olive tree producers.
- Goes well with cheese, asparagus, blue fish, grilled veggies, meat, venison, and truffles
- Organic extra virgin olive oil
- Shelf life of 24 months
- Hand-picked olives
- Fruity aroma with a rich bitterness
3. Ex Albis Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Chiavalon
- Delicious strong fruity taste with a spicy/peppery aftertaste.
- Known as Croatia's "liquid gold."
- One of 12 European olive oils awarded 3 stars by Premio Il Magnifico.
Ex Albis Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Chiavalon is another olive oil from Istria that is produced by a family estate Chiavalon. The oil has been awarded the Gold Award on NYIOOC 2020 and 2021. Regarding brand, they received dozens of various awards for their olive oils, which you can check here.
Ex Albis extra virgin olive oil is a blended type of olive oil made from these olive cultivars: Buza, Carbonazza, Istrian Bianchera, Rosignola, and Morasola. It has a very rich texture, an intense green color, a piquant and bitter taste, and plenty of aromas that remind me of wild chicory, green apple, artichoke, green grass, tomato, mint, rosemary, sage, and almond.
- Harvested by hands and hand-held tree shakers
- Processed at their own mill at low temperatures (19-21°C)
- Very rich texture and fantastic taste with delayed bitterness
- Award-winning olive oil
- Every Michelin-starred restaurant in Croatia uses Chiavalon olive oils (just proof of quality)
Frequently Asked Questions About Croatian Olive Oil
Croatian olive oils are extremely good. In the past few years, Croatian olive oils have received many international awards for high-quality extra virgin olive oils.
Croatia is a small country that can’t compete with larger countries regarding the quantity of olive oil produced. However, every olive lover knows about Croatia and its fantastic extra virgin olive oils. Other things that Croatia is known for are wines, beautiful beaches and islands, delicious food, Nikola Tesla, ties, parachutes, Rimac Automobili, Baranjski Kulen, etc.
Croatia exports olive oil, but according to OEC, in 2020, Croatia exported only $279k in olive oil, which is quite low. There’s an explanation for that. Croatia is a small country, and small family estates are the most common producers of olive oil in Croatia, which makes it hard for them to export large amounts of olive oil.