Greeks love their olive trees and oil a lot. According to Homer, the Greeks would build their homes around the olive tree, while archaeological finds from the Minoan civilization prove that the Cretan economy was based on olive oil. But it is the discovery of petrified olive leaves in Santorini, of an estimated 50.000 to 60.000 years of age that proves the enduring relationship between the Greeks and their “blessed fruit”.
Some 60% of Greece’s arable land is taken up by olive trees. There are about 132mn trees growing in Greece, a country of not quite 11million people! Greece is the world’s top producer of black olives and has more varieties of olives than any other country. It is the world’s third producer of olives, with an annual production of 350,000 tons of olive oil, of which 82% is extra-virgin. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a superfood. It is the liquid gold that Hippocrates considered one of nature’s best “iama” and the basis of Greek Gastronomy. Its health benefits are continuously certified by scientific research and practice. About 65% of Greece’s olive oil comes from the Peloponnese, while the rest is produced mainly in Crete, the Aegean and the Ionian Islands. The most prized Greek olive variety for the production of olive oil is the Koroneiki variety, originating from the area of Korone in Messenia, Peloponnese. This variety grows well on mountain slopes and produces very small fruit, and the high ratio of skin to flesh gives the oil its coveted aromatic qualities. And the rules of producing quality olive oil are fully respected and applied.