Olive & Olive Oil Trivia

Helen's trivia-dozen on olives and olive oil. Enjoy!

olives with herbs
  1. The olive tree is the only tree that bears fruit in the fifth year of being planted. At ten years old the olive tree is considered fully mature and will continue to produce fruit for at least the next 45 years, with proper care and pruning.
  2. According to the Bible, the existence of olive oil in the family was considered a blessing from God.
  3. Farmers have a saying: from the olive grove to the olive mill. How olives are picked and how an olive oil is pressed and stored are vital. During the harvest, we place nets and tarps under the trees to protect the olives from contact with the soil. Diseased olives, dirt or other impurities will affect the olive oil's aroma and taste. We pick our olives by hand and wash them before we press them.
  4. Many parts of olive oil producing countries in the Mediterranean have water shortages, which account for the fact that olives often go unwashed before they are pressed. This can have a negative effect on the quality of olive oil produced, like increased rancidity or off-putting aromas and tastes.
  5. Stone presses may be a thing of the past, but are known for producing great olive oil. These presses do not use heat but are slow, and as such, leave the olive mash exposed to oxygen (or air), which promotes rancidity or emulsions on the stones.
  6. A second pressing of the olive mash produces a liquid which is deep green in colour.  This is often used for blending and commercial production of low quality olive oils.
  7. olive-oil Extra virgin olive oil is not just a fatty acid, but an elaic must  that contains over 200 macro/micronutrients!
  8. Only olive oil and sesame oil can be eaten unprocessed. All other oils must be processed and use chemicals to improve shelf life.
  9. Olive oil has a harmonic glyceridic composition which is similar to mother’s milk.
  10. Olive oil contains vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are most important in the prevention of heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. Vitamin D is essential in the absorption of calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Greek research studies prove that extra virgin olive oil keeps bones dense!
  11. Olive oil contains nine calories per gram. It is a fatty acid that ensures nutritional, biological and health values. It is produced from the flesh of the olive fruit and not from a seed. It is separated naturally. Seed oils are processed to neutralize acidity, colour and odour. Olive oil, on the other hand, has aroma. Seed oils are odorless and tasteless due to the high molecular weight. Olive oil has a high resistance to rancidity given it contains tocopheroles.
  12. The England Journal of Nutrition made a correction to its previous stand, “Certified Organic products are more nutritious!” Finally the truth is coming out.


Reference:   Olive Oil, Vol 2, 1997, George D. Balatsoura.


Olive Oil Cookbook

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A wonderful combination of Greek classics, treasured family recipes, and some wonderful recipes as supplied by the chefs who use our olive oil.
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