History and Facts

extra virgin olive oil greeceFirst olive press in the world was found on the island of Crete around 1600 B.C.

Homer in the "Odyssey" refers to olive oil as "liquid gold”

In fact, olive oil labeled "Italian" often comes from Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, and Greece. These products are a mixture of olive oil from more than one nation and it is not clear what percentage of the olive oil is really of Italian origin. This practice makes it difficult for high quality, lower cost producers outside of Italy to enter the U.S. market, and for genuine Italian producers to compete.

Olympic Games winners in ancient Greece were crowned with olive branches

Greece devotes 60% of its cultivated land to olive growing. It is the world's top producer of black olives and has more varieties of olives than any other country. Greece holds third place in world olive production with more than 130 million trees, which produce approximately 350,000 tons of olive oil annually, of which 82% is extra-virgin.

Greek Orthodox rituals such as christenings & blessings use olive oil

Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. It is used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping.

In Genesis, a dove released from the Ark by Noah, returned with an olive branch to show that the flood had receded.

Olive oil is high in antioxidants, substances that fight cancer. It also contains, oleic acid, a fatty acid that is believed to suppress a gene responsible for over 25% of breast cancers.

Greece produces more than 430,000 tons of olive oil annually, and more than 75% of that is extra virgin olive oil, which is the best type of olive oil.

Researchers believe that olive oil may be a contributing source to Mediterranean women's low rate of breast and ovarian cancer. However, it is important to remember that Mediterranean diets are also rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish. These are all foods thought to reduce our risk of cancer.

Federico Garcia Lorca wrote: "Angels with long braids and hearts of olive oil."