Extra-virgin olive oil from the island of Krk bears a protected designation of origin. Most of the local oils are produced by mechanical means, i.e. cold pressing olive fruits harvested from island groves.
Owing to the priceless oil that it produces, the amazing olive is the most important of all crops that are part of Krk’s vast agricultural tradition.
Tourism related to olive oil aims at educating those who are interested in the history, characteristics and production of this oil. Croatia has become a destination for this kind of tourism, precisely because of its love for cultivating olive groves, and the great attention given to carefully picking olive fruits and producing oils of exceptional quality.
In 2016, on the EU common market, olive oil from Krk was registered and protected according to geographical origin, as was previously the case with Krk prosciutto. The interaction between environmental factors, local varietals, human elements and the tradition of olive cultivation and oil production has given rise to a product known as Krk olive oil, with features unique to the island.
In 2016, at the New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC), the prestigious international olive oil competition known as the Olive Oil Grammy, Croatian oils won twice as many medals than in previous years. Olive oil from Dubašnica was awarded the gold medal!
Olive oil from Dubašnica
Olive trees and groves dominate the landscape of Dubašnica. They surround Malinska from the old village of Sršići to Porat, and can be seen next to homes and in gardens. The lauded olive tree has been growing on the island since ancient times. The Liburnians, who inhabited this area in the first century, from Raša to the Krka river, called their oil oleum liburnicum and exported it to the Roman Empire as the best oil. Since ancient times, the olive tree has been a mainstay in the lives of people of the region, and they have prayed and lived with it, fed on it and been healed by it. Trees are pruned in March and picked in October, when the groves are bustling with olive pickers of all ages.
The groves in Dubašnica are rarely neglected, particularly when it comes to those by the sea, which are almost always tended. When ascending to Fumak or in Milovčići and Ljutići, these olive groves are what steals the scene.
Some of local olive varietals on the island of Krk are plominka, drobnica, daška, debela, rošulja and slatka. To be permitted to bear that protected designation, an olive oil must contain at least 80% of oil from these varietals, whether a single variety or blend.
Existing records from 1850 state that Dubašnica produced 46,200 litres of oil at 12 oil presses. A hundred years later, 300 tonnes were processed yearly; while in the last few years about 100 tonnes have been processed. While youth are more keen on earning their daily living from tourism, they are now slowly returning to olive cultivation. In addition to local varietals, the Italian leccino and pendolino are also planted.
Today extra-virgin olive oil from Malinska can be purchased both from stores and at doorsteps, and it is truly the finest souvenir from the island of Krk one can take home.
The unique flavour of Krk oil sets it apart from the rest; those who try it once are bound to continue using it in all their dishes. Due to its medicinal properties, it also has a variety of external applications and can be used as a natural sunblock and in the treatment of burns. It is also an indispensable part of various wellness programmes at local hotels.