A Brief History Of Olive Oil

The history of olive oil use is both rich and fascinating, dating back to ancient civilizations. Olive oil has been used for various purposes, from religious ceremonies to culinary and medicinal practices. In this article, we will explore the history of olive oil use, its significance, and how it has evolved over time.

Ancient Greece and Olive Oil Use.

Olive oil has been used in the religious ceremonies of ancient civilizations. In Ancient Greece, olive oil was used in the religious ceremonies of the Minoans on the island of Crete. The Athenians also used olive oil in worship. When people died, olive oil was used to anoint their bodies and prepare them for burial. Olive oil also holds high status in Judaism. In fact, the menorah that was lit in the temple of Jerusalem was fuelled by olive oil, and the olive branch is a symbol of peace in Jewish culture.

Olive Oil in Cooking and Medicine

Olive oil has been used in cooking for at least as long ago as the 5th-4th century BCE. It was used extensively in Mediterranean cuisine, especially in Italian, Greek, and Spanish dishes. Olive oil was also used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, such as skin diseases, wounds, and respiratory infections.

history of olive oil

Types of Olive Oil

There are three main grades of olive oil: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), ordinary virgin olive oil, and pomace-olive oil (OPO). EVOO is the highest quality olive oil and is extracted from the first pressing of the olives. It has a fruity and intense flavour and is best used in salads, marinades, and as a finishing oil. Ordinary virgin olive oil is extracted from the second pressing of the olives and has a milder flavour. It is used in cooking and baking. Pomace-olive oil is extracted from the leftover pulp and seeds of the olives after the first pressing. It is lower in quality and is used in industrial applications.

Modern Olive Oil Production

Today, olive oil is produced in many countries, including Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Tunisia. The production process has evolved over time and now involves mechanical presses, which extract the oil from the olives. The quality of the oil depends on several factors, such as the ripeness of the fruit, the method of extraction, and storage conditions. Olive oil is now widely used in cooking and is known for its possible health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke

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