The olive is one of the three core food plants in Mediterranean cuisine (the other two being wheat and the grape). Perfect in all kinds of salads, breads and cooking; the bonus is that it’s also great for your health. This is one fantastic food! And Aussie grown and processed!
Here’s a bit of history for you, for those wanting to know a bit of background…
The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin; wild olives were collected by Neolithic peoples as early as the 8th millennium BC. Archaeological evidence shows that olives were turned into olive oil by 6000 BC in present-day Israel. Besides food, olive oil has been used for religious rituals, medicines, as a fuel in oil lamps, soap-making, and skin care. The oil became a principal product of the Minoan civilisation, where it is thought to have represented wealth.
Olive oil was common in ancient Greek and Roman cuisine. According to Herodotus, Apollodorus, Plutarch and others, the city of Athens obtained its name because Athenians considered olive oil essential, preferring the offering of the goddess Athena (an olive tree) over the offering of Poseidon (a spring of salt water gushing out of a cliff). The Spartans and other Greeks used oil to rub themselves while exercising in the gymnasia. From its beginnings early in the 7th century BC, the cosmetic use of olive oil quickly spread to all of the Hellenic city states, together with athletes training in the nude, and lasted close to a thousand years despite its great expense.
Olive trees were planted throughout the entire Mediterranean basin during evolution of the Roman republic and empire. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, Italy had “excellent olive oil at reasonable prices” by the 1st century AD, “the best in the Mediterranean”, he maintained. Check out the Pompeiian, and Ancient Greek olive presses in pics below, as well as today’s modern mill and cold press.
Today, Spain is by far the largest producer of olive oil, followed by Italy and Greece. Per capita consumption is however highest in Greece, followed by Spain, Italy, and Morocco. The composition of olive oil varies with the cultivar, altitude, time of harvest and extraction process. It consists mainly of oleic acid (up to 83%), with smaller amounts of other fatty acids including linoleic acid (up to 21%) and palmitic (up to 20%). Extra-virgin olive oil is required to have no more than 0.8% free acidity and is considered to have the best flavor; it forms as much as 80% of total production in Greece and 65% in Italy, but far less in other countries.
The taste of the olive oil is influenced by the varietals used, and by the moment when the olives are harvested and ground (less ripe olives give more bitter and spicy flavors – riper olives give a sweeter sensation in the oil).
Olive oil consumption is thought to affect cardiovascular health. It has been suggested that long-term consumption of small quantities of the polyphenol, oleocanthal, from olive oil may be responsible in part for the low incidence of heart disease associated with a Mediterranean diet. Epidemiological studies indicate that a higher proportion of monounsaturated fats in the diet may be linked with a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. There is preliminary evidence that regular consumption of olive oil may lower risk of all-cause mortality and several chronic diseases.
Ingredients: Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil.
Certified organic by Australian Certified Organic (201).