Gytheio, Greece

24°C / 31°C
23°C / 29°C

Olive oil history

It is believed that olives first appeared during the third millennium B.C. in the Middle East, and from there they spread to the Aegean islands and mainland Greece. Later on, research carried out in the islands of Santorini and Nisiros, proved its existence since thousands of years ago.

Oil was used for cosmetic purposes, religious ceremonies, as a therapeutic substance, as a lubricant and as fuel for lamps. Proofs of the importance of olive oil are wall paintings, tools and installations discovered in excavations on various sites. People considered olive oil an important part of their diet. Philosophers thoroughly studied the history of olive oil: Aristotle described the olive tree cultivation, Solon legislated its protection and Plato taught in its shade. Goddess Athena offered an olive tree to mankind as a symbol of peace, wisdom and prosperity.

At the Olympic games that started in 776 B.C., ancient Greeks were crowning the winners with a «kotinos», made of olive branches from the same wild olive tree.

At the Panathenea games, the winners received an amphora full of sacred olive oil from Goddess Athena.
In our region, the special, almost ideal geoclimatic conditions and the sunny days combined with the right conditions of cultivation culminate in a superior level of Virgin Extra Oil quality second to none!

There are many categories of olive oil:
Virgin Extra (acidity <0.8%)
Virgin Fine (acidity <1.5%)
Virgin Classic (acidity <2.0%)

Refined: From olive trees of inferior quality; it is subject to a variety of chemical processing methods.

Mixture: Indeterminable mixture of refined and virgin olive oil.

Ancient Greeks believed that olive oil is beneficial to human health and recommended it for dermatological problems, burns, ear infections, birth control, etc. Today modern medicine confirms that olive oil is beneficial to the health and its consumption is recommended for cardio circulatory problems, prevention of breast cancer, prevention of prostate cancer, control of stomach ulcer, control of diabetes, sexual impotence, diet for all ages, etc.
Greeks consume large quantities of olive oil in all their foods. The use it in salads, fried dishes, boiled greens, pies and soups. Also, all roasted or grilled meat and fish uses olive oil. Olive oil is important for fried dishes as it has great resistance to high temperatures and does not break up into substances that would be harmful to human health.

Of course, it also adds flavour to all foods!

Last but not least, the famous Greek dishes that are cooked with oil are treats that you must not miss!