Chinese olive oil wins top award in int'l competition in Greece

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An extra-virgin organic olive oil produced in China has won the top award at an international competition hosted in Greece recently, organizers told Xinhua on Friday.

The Xiangyu Coratina oil, produced by Xiangyu Olive Development Co. based in Longnan City in northwest China, was selected as the best product in the 5th edition of the Athena International Olive Oil Competition, according to a press release from the organizers available recently.

The olive oil product, which uses Coratina olives, a variety from Toscany in Italy, won a "double gold" medal, among others.

In addition, two other olive oil products from the same company were awarded silver medals.

A total of 430 extra-virgin olive oil products from 17 countries were present at the annual competition, which was held under special conditions in Spata near the Athens international airport on June 11-13, due to the pandemic, said Greek Vinetum company, one of the organizers.

Initially, the event was scheduled for April 2-3 on the island of Lesvos, one of Greece's leading olive oil producing regions.

The Chinese company was the sole competitor from China and the first one in the five years of the event, the organizers told Xinhua on Friday.

The top distinction for the Chinese olive oil may surprise average Greek citizens, who enjoy good quality olive oil in traditional Greek cuisine on a daily basis, but it was no surprise for connoisseurs who had seen the Chinese company winning awards in previous international competitions, they stressed.

Despite the pandemic, samples from China, Australia, Brazil, France, Spain, Portugal and many other countries closer to Greece, like Turkey, Croatia, Libya and Lebanon were sent to the competition.

This year, 176 entries out of the total 430 were from abroad.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no award ceremony was held this year.

The competition is held each year in a different olive oil producing region of Greece.

Greece is one of the world's largest olive oil producers with centuries-old tradition and the first in extra virgin olive oil production, organizers said. 

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