Against All Odds, Solar Wins Gold
Solar from Lebanon has won a Gold Award at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, the world's most prestigious olive oil quality contest.
The company produces organic extra virgin olive oil from Souri olives using traditional harvesting methods.
Morale was low but we kept going, knowing that what we were doing and what we were tasting was worth all the hardships we were going through.Karim Arsanios, award-winning producer
"I am elated," said the award-winning producer Karim Arsanios upon receiving the news that he had achieved the industry's most coveted award for quality.
"I took what was a family personal hobby and turned it into a business," Arsanios told Olive Oil Times. "It's been only two years, and we have already won multiple awards. My hope is that winning at the NYIOOC will open up doors that were unthinkable, and that I'll be able to share, with the world, what our land has to offer."
Solar won a Gold Award for its organic delicate Souri monovarietal.
Despite its status as the birthplace of olive oil, Lebanon has seen few of its producers rise to the world stage. Arsanios explained why producing a high-quality extra virgin olive oil -- a challenging task anywhere it is attempted -- is particularly daunting in Lebanon.
"This harvest was extremely challenging," he said. "Primarily because of a lower crop yield but mostly because of the worst economic and political crisis Lebanon has ever seen. We had to deal with daily price fluctuation, shortages of gasoline and workers, and extra-long hours to compensate. Morale was low but we kept going, knowing that what we were doing and what we were tasting was worth all the hardships we were going through."
The NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, held each spring in New York, is the world's largest and most prestigious olive oil contest and its annual listing of award winners is considered the authoritative guide to the year’s best extra virgin olive oils.
The complete list of winners can be viewed in the Official Guide to the World's Best Olive Oils.