Olive Tree History
The olive tree, considered sacred by the people of the Mediterranean for thousands of years, continues to fascinate and hold our imaginations.
The olive tree belongs to the Oleaceae family and has a lifespan of around 300 to 400 years. The exact origins of the olive tree are puzzling. Persia, Greater Jordan, and the Nile Valleys each have their supporters.
Some also claim that the cultivation of the olive dates back to 5000 BC. BC began. in Crete and the neighboring Greek islands. The best that can be said for sure is that agriculture started a very long time ago somewhere in the Middle East and slowly spread west across the Mediterranean Sea.
All the great civilizations of the Mediterranean contributed to the spread of olives in this region: Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans.
The ancient Greeks believed the olive tree was a gift from the goddess Athena and began using Greek Olive Oil in their religious rituals. Homer, the immortal Greek poet, called olive oil liquid gold and the Greek Laws of Solon, during the 6th to 7th century BC, prohibited the cutting down of olive trees on the punishment of death.
Appreciation of olive oil not just as food, but for many other reasons such as the promotion of health and beauty, became ingrained in these cultures. The Romans are said to have slathered it on their bodies to moisturize after bathing.
King David valued his olive groves and olive oil warehouses so much that he posted guards to protect them around the clock.
With the spread of Roman Empire throughout the Mediterranean, olive oil became a significant trade commodity and promoted commerce to unprecedented scale for the ancient world. The Western hemisphere was introduced to olives by the Spanish and Portuguese explorers during the 15th and 16th centuries. And by the late 18th century, the Franciscan missionaries were establishing groves in California.
Today, the countries closest to the Mediterranean Sea are best known for their continued nurturing of the olive with their temperate climate and soil. But where grapes grow well so will olives. With that in mind, Olive Oil of the World’s goal is to find the best tasting olive oil from every country that produces it and make them available all in one place.
Extra virgin olive oil, has the top quality and it is the most expensive olive oil. Our olive oil has a flavor of fresh olives and no defects.
We produced it entirely by traditional means and with a lot of care and love; without any solvents, and in temperatures that will not harm the final product.
To produce extra virgin olive oil is not an easy thing.
Amalthea as a producer use fresh olives in excellent condition and monitor every step of the process with great care.