This healthy and slippery commodity is many things to many people. It offered them in the past, offers in the present and will be offering in the future health, longevity, power and wonder. Two thousand years BC, the Egyptians imported olive oil from Crete, Israel and Syria. It was the symbol of importance and wealth.
Excavations in the Greek Island of Naxos, dated in the Minoan Times, back in the 3500 BC, olive oil amphora jugs were found, containing the remains of olive oil. Historians also report that olives were turned into olive oil about 4500 BC in Israel, then called Canaan. It is well known that olive oil was produced 5000 years ago in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Many olive oil presses were found in North Africa, Persia and all the Mediterranean region. Some of them in Greece and Italy are still being used today.
For all the countries around Mediterranean, olive oil has been much much more than a food. It was that magical, medicinal and mystical force of power and abundance through the centuries.
The distinct taste of the Mediterranean cuisine belongs to extra virgin olive oil, which is the Trademark of the Greek and Italian cuisines. Most of the world wide production of olive oil comes from that part of the world.
In Greece 60% of the cultivated land is devoted to olives growing. It is the top producer of black olives in the world and also has the most varieties of olives. Olives are grown in the mainland with the Peloponnese Peninsula the leader, with 65% of the Greek production, followed by the Island of Crete, the Aegean and Ionian Islands. Small amounts come from South Africa, Australia and North America.
Jeanne Calment (February 21, 1875 – to August 4, 1997) who lived to be 122 plus years old (longest confirmed life span in the history of mankind) in an interview, she attributed her longevity to her daily use of raw extra virgin olive oil and her apathy to stress. She was a super-centenarian who lived in France (super-centenarians are the people who live more then 110 years).
Extra virgin olive oil, the super food, that prolongs your life.