The secret ingredient to good produce

When a producer serenades their goats with classical music or painstakingly transports their beehives by boat, you can really taste their passion and dedication in the end product: That’s the real secret ingredient.

Our founder Panos Manuelides is just as passionate about sourcing and the producers he works with: “Life revolves around the kitchen table in Greece, and we want our products to reflect that. Every product has to have a story or something special about it: we only sell food that we would happily share with our own family.”

We believe in feeding conversation, and here Panos shares some of his favourite producer stories:

Raw Greek honey from Alexandros Gousiaris

Odysea honey is produced in the village of Ilias in central Greece by artisan bee-keeper Alexandros Gousiaris.  Alexandros lovingly tends his bees ensuring they are protected in winter and moved to the Greek mountains or islands in the summer where herbs, wild flowers & conifers grow in abundance.

Alexandros and his small team harvest the honey from the beehives by hand and is extracted cold from the beecomb and only very minimally filtered. It’s these traditional production methods that ensure the flavour and nutritional values of our exceptional tasting honeys remain.

Honey has been celebrated for its health-giving properties for millennia, but it’s only now that raw honey is rising in popularity. Raw honey has all the golden goodness of other natural honeys, but it also has a more complex taste, more nutrients, less sugar, and it’s better for the bees too.

Because of the long summers and varied flora across the islands, beaches and craggy mountain sides, Greek honey is some of the best in the world and the country has more bee hives per acre than anywhere in Europe. Raw honey is literally a taste of Greece, and every drop of nectar contains a unique flavour of where it was collected.
Odysea Greek Pine & Fir Tree Raw Honey (480g)

Hand-picked olives from the Rovies Grove

Rovies olive grove is one of the last in Greece to still pick olives from their 55,000 trees by hand. The grove is virtually on the seafront, and the fresh salty air and sheltered microclimate means their crop starts earlier on the island of Evia. “I went to school with Nikos Vallis’ family,” reminisces Panos, “and now he now coordinates the Rovies agricultural family cooperative that produces our organic kalamata and green olives. He’s so passionate about his olives’ quality, health benefits, and protecting the environment – he taught me everything I know about olives!” Our olives are produced Greek-style and simply ferment in brine for 9 months, without adding caustic soda to speed up the process. This old-fashioned approach preserves the taste, nutritional quality, and doesn’t waste as much water as mass-produced methods either.
Odysea Pitted Conservolia Olives, Lemon, Garlic & Coriander (235g)

Organic Greek yoghurt & Kefir

George Meleneklis knows how to look after his goats: they’re sprayed with cooling water mist in the hot summers and even listen to classical music to keep them calm! Like local celebrities, they’re free to graze across local pastures in the foothills of mount Menikio from where his dairy cooperative gets its name, and the goats are fed on a special mix of organic, high-protein seeds and greens grown on the land. “Our traditional Greek yoghurt is not what you may know as Greek yoghurt in the UK,” explains Panos. “It hasn’t been strained or thickened, and it’s made with non-homogenised milk – so you get an incredible, set layer on top like clotted cream, and a slightly loser yoghurt underneath. It’s very rich in lactobacillus and other good bacteria.” The yoghurt is made just 24 hours after the milk is collected, so it’s incredibly fresh and nutritious.
Odysea Organic Greek Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt (220g)