The International Olive Oil Council chose November 26 to celebrate the olive tree, not by chance: The olive tree is “a global symbol of peace and harmony, which has now spread to the five continents and contributes to sustainable economic and social development and the conservation of natural resources.” .
The olive tree lives and offers fruits for centuries, it is cultivated in every soil, it loves the Mediterranean climate, it requires minimal care and it is fully utilized: as a fruit, foliage and wood. Today, thousands of families in Greece live or supplement their income from olive cultivation.
Greece, one of the countries with the largest production of olive oil in the world, is in first place in terms of per capita consumption of olive oil. According to the data of the European Commission, in our country each person consumes almost 17.9 kg of olive oil per year.
This widespread use in traditional Greek cuisine has made it a basic cooking fat, but also a basic “sauce”, which is poured over countless dishes, from fish to legumes, while it is still used as a preservative of various foods (eg pickles) and in baking. Olive oil is so assimilated into Greek cuisine that there is a whole category of foods based on it, the well-known oily dishes “ladera”, traditional dishes of the Greeks.
Edible olives and olive oil are inextricably linked with emblematic and internationally recognized cuisines, such as Cretan, etc., while they constitute the basic nutritional element of the Mediterranean diet and compose the well-known nutritional quartet of olives-vines-wheat-legumes which is ingrained in basic Greek Cooking.
The relationship of the Greeks with the olive and olive oil, uninterrupted from antiquity until today, illuminating and enriching their lives and tables. An essential base of Greek cuisine, olive oil daily offers a healthy and flavor-rich food and is present in the events and ceremonies of the life cycle and the cycle of time.
Hundreds of thousands of acres, millions of trees, thousands of producers. Manufacturing, exports, distinctions, serious investments. Wealth for our country since ancient times.
The sacred olive was, is and will be the seal and the signature in the identity of our cultural heritage. It has nourished the land and its folk for thousands of years. Generations and generations have grown up in an olive grove.
And today, olive cultivation remains the major player in the local economy, leaving millions of euros in income to rural families.