Lying just across the Adriatic from Italy and just north of Greece, the Albanian coast, known in ancient Greece and Rome as Illyria (ih-leer-ee-uh), has been producing olive oil for over 2,500 years. Albania's temperate Mediterranean climate and hilly, gravelly terrain provide the perfect growing conditions for its abundant olive groves and its coastline is home to olive varietals that grow nowhere else in the world. The Kalinjot (kal-ee-nyot) olive -- the single, bright green varietal from which our oil is pressed -- is one such olive.
Because political and ethnic strife has kept Albania closed to the world market for so much of its recent history, its extraordinary olive oil has been unavailable outside of Albania until now. Illyria Olive Oil thus has the exciting distinction of not just being the only Kalinjot olive oil you will be able to taste, but being the first and only Albanian olive oil you can find in the United States.