Olive oil has long been considered one of the greatest natural assets of the ancient world (and sometimes worth its weight in gold). It has consistently offered humanity the gifts of health and wealth, and is as complex and delicious as wine.
Since antiquity, olive branches have been a symbol of peace – perhaps because olive trees were an agricultural offering bestowed to the colonies after they were subjugated in battle. Archaeological records indicate olives have been eaten for over 35,000 years, and that man has cultivated the tree for at least 6,000years. The olive tree ranges in height from 10 to 40 feet, or more, and can attain a great age — some in the eastern Mediterranean are estimated to be over 2,000 years old. About 6,000 years ago, in the Fertile Crescent- what is today Syria and Palestine -olives first began to be cultivated. The practice quickly spread to Crete, flourishing in the island's dry climate. Cretans became wealthy by exporting the oil and making lotions and cosmetics from it. In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena gave the olive tree to the Greeks to win their loyalty. And ever since, they've taken their olive oil very seriously. When athletes rubbed it over their bodies before competition, it protected their skin from abrasions and the elements.According to Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, olive oil could heal numerous ailments, among them mental illness, and what Hippocrates charmingly referred to as “the diseases of women”. It offered light when burned and was used by priests to consecrate the dead. The trees were so sacred that those who cut one down were condemned to death.Brought to Southern Italy by the Greeks, the Romans aped their predecessors in admiration for the oil. The Roman Empire’s prodigious growth and colonial expansion brought trees to Spain and other colonies in the Iberian Peninsula. With the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, olive cultivation declined for a thousand years. Olive oil steadily regained its role in the Middle Ages, however, when the Roman CatholicChurch used it in rituals and anointings, namely the Oil of the Catechumens and Oil of the Sick, and to consecrate priests.
THE OLIVE TREE
WHAT MAKES GREEK OLIVE OILS SO UNIQUE?
Mana Gea: FROM THE LAND OF MONEMVASIA
HOW OLIVE OIL IS MADE.
OLIVE OILS CLASSIFICATION
THE IMPORTANCE OF READING THE LABELS
THE IMPORTANCE OF READING THE NUTRITION FACTS
COOKING WITH DIFFERENT TYPE OF OILS
OLIVE OIL HEALTH BENEFITS