You are originally from Istanbul, tell me about it.
Istanbul is a really nice city. I was born there and lived there until I graduated as an engineer. Right after graduating I moved to Germany. It sounds quite a cliché, an engineer moving to Germany for a better career.
But that isn’t why you moved to Germany, is it?
No, my motivation was quite different. My girlfriend was living there at the time, so I just followed her! She was in Hamburg.
Did you move to Hamburg knowing you had a job waiting for you?
Originally she was in Barcelona, as she’s from Catalonia, and I was so happy. Perfect weather; I will have a dream life! Then she said she was moving to Hamburg and I checked the weather... I found an internship and started working for a multinational company, but after three years of corporate life I said enough is enough. It was time to quit my job and chase my dream.
Now you do live in Barcelona, so how do you like it?
I have been living in Barcelona for a year. I really like it, I feel very comfortable here. The culture is quite similar to in Turkey. They are both Mediterranean. Daily life is a bit noisy and rushed, so that is similar. The reaction of the people, the way they talk and like touching people and the gestures are similar, too.
You said you came here chasing a dream, what was your dream?
After meeting my wife, I started discovering Catalonia and Catalan products more and more. And I was amazed! I told her, you have great products here, such as wine, cheese, fuet and especially olive oil – which is my main project at the moment. I consider all these products hidden treasures, as they are not so well-known abroad. I couldn’t find them in Germany or other countries I visited. I didn’t know if this was due to a language barrier or branding. So, I opened my company here with the aim of helping craft producers to fulfil their potential in the global market.
Your firm is called Selective Export.
Yes, it’s a trading company and we concentrate on Mediterranean gourmet food. We export worldwide, Japan and the States are my main contacts at the moment.
Let’s talk about olive oil. What is your latest project called?
Ed’o, the name comes from Esséncia daurada, which means ’gold essence’ in Catalan. I love the name, as it matches the product perfectly. We extract the purest essence of the olive oil and turn it into liquid gold. We had to shorten the name a bit so it could work in the global market.
Where did the idea came from?
To explain I need to go back to my wedding day. It not only changed my life personally it changed it professionally, too. We got married in the olive oil groves of my wife’s family, in Alcover in the Tarragona region. We gave our guests a gift of a nice bottle of olive oil from the field we got married in. As time passed, our friends kept telling us how delicious the olive oil was. One friend said he was saving the last drops for a special occasion. So, I thought, something quite common for us is liquid gold for others.
Is the Ed’o olive oil you produce from your family’s olive groves?
Yes and no. We have two olive oils. The white bottle is from our farm. It’s called Ed’o Pure and it comes from the Tarragona region, which is close to the sea. It has a fresh and fruity aromatic taste. Ed’o Pure goes perfectly with salad, soup, pasta and vegetables. Ed’o Organic, in the black bottle, comes from the Montsant natural park, near the Priorat region. This area is well-known for its rocky landscape and slate-based soil. It gives the olive oil character. So this oil is more intense with more body and goes best with hearty meals, such as red meat, stews and sea food.
Why is it different from other brands?
The answer is simple. We offer the best oil from the entire harvest. This is how we do it. Normally, most producers pick olives for three or four months of the year, from October to January. They try to produce as much oil as possible. But the olives are not ripe if you pick them early. Harvesting the fruit before it’s ripe means its mainly water. We analyse the entire harvest and start producing from the week when the olives reach their maximum ripeness. We just pick for one week and then produce the oil from that. That ensures the lowest acidity level.
Tell me about the certifications you can get for your olive oil.
The extra virgin certification goes on acidity levels, there are other factors as well, but the main thing is the acidity level. If the acidity level of your oil is less than 0.8% you can have this certification.
This is your first crop!
I’m so happy, so relieved. And the dream is to reproduce this year, for year after year.
Let’s talk about the price.
Ed’o Pure (white bottle) is €79 and Ed’o Organic (black bottle) is €95. And you can buy them together as a pair. These oils are to be displayed and served on the dinner table. www.edo-oliveoil.com
- Catalonia Today 06-05-2018 Pàgina 10