Tradition, Craft, and Place in the Oracle Gift Set
by Oracle Oil Admin·
Customs provide the comforts of familiarity and a sense of heritage we all long for—especially around the holidays. One of our favorite traditions to replicate at home is the simple pleasure of seasoned olive oil.
It’s customary at Greek restaurants in Greece and beyond to be served warm country bread accompanied by a pool of olive oil and herbal oregano, poured into a small dipping bowl. Our new gift set celebrates this hand-eating tradition, as well as the hand-crafted practices that are native to Greece: harvesting olives, gathering herbs, and forming pottery.
OUR NEW GIFT SET CELEBRATES HAND-CRAFTED PRACTICES THAT ARE NATIVE TO GREECE: HARVESTING OLIVES, GATHERING HERBS, AND FORMING POTTERY.
Tingling, herbaceous, and refreshing, Daphnis & Chloe’s Aegean Oregano is one of the most remarkable finishing oreganos you’ll find. A rare varietal, Origanum onites is endemic to the region and cultivated by only a handful of small farms today. The oregano is harvested by hand, dried naturally, and sorted in-house at Daphnis and Chloe, without any mechanical means.
Keeping the leaves and flowers intact ensures that they will stay fresh and strong until reaching your kitchen. Crush between your fingers to release the scent and natural oils before sprinkling over olive oil, veggies, fish, and more.
Both the Aegean oregano from Daphnis & Chloe and the ceramic herb bowl from The Lembesis pottery studio in Sifnos, originate from the Cycladic islands — a cluster of islands in the Aegean that Oracle Oil founder Cristiana Sadigianis has been visiting since she was a small child.
Sifnos is famous for its plenitude of pottery workshops that dot the Cycladic island — attributed by its abundant amount of clay, water and sunshine. Featuring the mythological “all seeing eye” motif, which is said to deter evil spirits, our ceramic dipping bowl is made by Nikos Lembesis of the family-run Lembesis Pottery Studio, who comes from five generations of potters. Each February, the family harvests local clay to make pottery over the summer, carried by donkeys up a hill outside of Nikos’ village and dried in the sun before firing.
DURING OUR VISIT WITH NIKOS, WE ASKED HIM TO DESCRIBE HIS WORK AND A BIT ON HIS PROCESS AND FAMILY.
During our visit with Nikos, Oracle Oil asked him to describe his work and a bit on his process and family. Here’s what he told us:
“Our studio is in a small village called Artemonas, on the Cycladic island of Sifnos. We are a family business of over 100 years, started by my great grandfather in 1911. I work with my father, brother, a cousin and my wife now. Up until 2 years ago, my 97-year-old grandmother was painting the ceramics herself. Now, my friend Diane Katsiafikas, who is a fine arts professor at the University of Minnesota, has taken over the painting my grandmother used to do; she is painting the eyes on your bowls.
The clay my family uses is red earthenware that we dig from our island of Sifnos. We use a white slip, cobalt oxide and a clear glaze. We fire the clay in our kilns at 1050 degrees celsius, with two firings for each piece, so it is a very long process from the moment we gather the clay to the moment it goes to the customer’s hands.”
ORACLE GIFT SET
Oracle Oil premium extra virgin olive oil
Rare Aegean Oregano by Daphnis & Chloe
Ceramic dipping bowl from the Lembesis Pottery Studio