The appearance of the olive tree disappears into the centuries. The olive tree was present thousands of years before the appearance of men on earth.
It is believed that the olive tree first appeared in Syria, Egypt and from there came to Greece and Italy and later Spain and all around the Mediterranean countries.
The findings of excavations reveal that the cultivation of the olive tree started the 2nd century BC in Greece, during the Mycenaic and the Minoan years.
From the ancient years the olive tree was sacred. The Jews were using the olive oil for the chrismation of our prophets. The Egyptians were crowning the dead with an olive branch. The Greeks were crowning the victors of the Olympics with a crown made out of an olive branch (kotinos). They were also using the olive branches for their religious ceremonies. Today the olive oil is used for the Christian religious ceremonies.
The Phinisians were the first to produce olive oil and during the years of Homer it was used as a beauty product. During the 6th century, olive oil became a main food ingredient and one of the most important factors of prosperity.
The cultivation of the olive tree demands special weather conditions. It is cultivated all around Mediterranean and it was brought in California, part of Arizona, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguae also Australia, North Africa and Japan. In Greece the warmer and dryer places produce mainly oil and the cooler places produce table olives.
In Greece the cultivation of the olive covers 6 million stremata (17% of the cultivated land) and occupy 450,000 families.
The olive oil is healthier than other oils and the health benefits are greater, especially when it is eaten raw.