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“Olive” The Mediterranean’s Pride

La Tienda

This is a Spanish riddle: I am green, then I change to black, then I get crushed and get transformed into fine gold.

The olive on the tree when it ripens, it turns from green to black and that shiny black skin is full of“liquid gold” waiting to be released. That “liquid gold” has been the pride of the Mediterranean home for six thousand years and the olive tree covers hillsides and valleys from Syria, to Greece, to Italy, to Morocco, to Portugal and Spain.

The people in the Mediterranean Region always knew that the juice that comes from the olives without any chemical process and additives, that all the flavor, aroma and health benefits are naturally preserved. Olive oil not only pleases the palate, it also provides good health. It is Mediterranean’s pride.

The process of the production of olive oil has remained the same for thousands of years and the “liquid gold” has been the King of oils. From the about seven hundred varieties of olives, the type of soil, the weather, the harvest date that ranges from the beginning of November to the end of February, and the extraction process, influence the oil’s color, aroma and flavor. Some olive oils are fruity, some are sweet and some are peppery.

About 90% of the world’s olive oil production comes from the Mediterranean Region because the Mediterranean climate promotes the cultivation of the olive tree. The olive tree is very hardy, disease and fire resistant.

The olive tree can live thousands of years. An olive tree in Crete is over two thousand years old and that is based on the tree ring analysis. An olive tree in Athens, named “Plato’s Olive Tree” is believed to be twenty five hundred years old. In Agii Anargyri a suburb of Athens, supposedly there is an even older olive tree planted by the Athenian tyrant Pisistratos near the banks of Kifisos river in the 6th century BC.

The olive tree can supply a gallon of olive oil every year, for centuries. It is fact that olive oil is not just the super food that enhances our food, it also rejuvenates our skin and improves our health. Olive oil, Mediterranean’s pride.

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