Greece has been famous for producing excellent-quality olive oil since ancient times. Wild olives originated in Asia Minor and were harvested by the locals during the Neolithic period as early as the 8th millennium BC. The modern olive tree was first domesticated in ancient Persia and from there to the Levant and North Africa. In the 28th century BC the olive tree arrived in Greece and since then it has become an integral part of Greek tradition and culture.
Olive oil was also important in the ancient Greek economy. The Minoans, a people who lived in ancient Crete, exported large quantities of oil every year to Egypt and other Mediterranean countries. This tradition continued until the Hellenistic period. This tradition was also adopted by the Romans, who made the production and trade of olive oil a key part of their economic activity.
The olive tree was so closely linked to the everyday life of the Ancient Greeks and had acquired a mythological character. According to myth, the name of the city of Athens came from Athena. To convince the citizens of the city to name the city Athens, Athena offered them olive trees as a gift. The olive branch is also symbolic, as it is used as a symbol of peace between states.
The uses of olive oil are many, indicatively olive oil can be used for the following purposes:
Olive oil is an integral ingredient in all the cuisines and dishes of the countries located in the Mediterranean Sea. Extra virgin olive oil is mainly used as a dressing in traditional salads. At the same time, olive oil has various nutrients. It provides the body with good fats, especially when consumed raw, vitamin E, and antioxidants such as polyphenols.
As far back as ancient Greece, olive oil was used extensively for grooming by the ancient Greeks. Ancient Greek athletes used to anoint themselves with oil during their workouts. Today, olive oil is used on newborns to reduce the likelihood of them developing dermatitis. Many grooming companies use olive oil as a key ingredient because of its beneficial properties.
Olive oil is used extensively by the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish churches. Olive oil is considered sacred by these religions and is used extensively in their various rituals.
The medicinal benefits of olive oil are commonly accepted by the medical community. Olive oil can be used for a multitude of medicinal purposes. Olive oil has been shown to prevent breast cancer in women. At the same time, research shows that people who consume 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day are less likely to develop heart problems. The same applies to the prevention of diabetes, as olive oil controls sugar levels in the blood.