Greek Extra Virgin olive Oil

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OLIVE OIL AND GREEK HISTORY

The key role that?olive oil?plays in a healthy body has been known since ancient times. Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, as well as the great physicians of those times, namely Galen, Dioskourides and Diocles believed unassailably in its beneficial effect on health and in many cases recommended that it be taken daily as a treatment. Today, 3.000 years later, modern Medicine continues to widely recommend olive oil for the diet of adults and children, whether sound of health or sick, thanks to its valuable ingredients that promote health, wellbeing and longevity. Many scientific studies have shown that olive oil is a valuable nutrient and a very strong weapon against chronic diseases and contributes.

The olive and olive oil have been consistently present throughout the years, a part of Greek private and collective life: religion, art, social and political events, sports, physics and gastronomy. The exuberant presence of olive oil trees and their fruits are encountered in all aspects of everyday life in Greece.

Thus, from the golden leaves in the shape of an olive branch that were found buried in a Minoan tomb, and the aromatic olive oil production workshops found in the wider region around the palaces of King Nestor of Pylos, to the orthodox vigil candle that burns olive oil in Greek households today, the olive tree and its oil are everpresent. Christ prays on the Mount of Olives, and the Orthodox religion closely connects two of its seven mysteries (sacraments) to oil, the Baptism and the Extreme unction, whilst Anointing Oil is made with olive oil.

Kostis Palamas, the poet, characteristically wrote: ”I am the honored olive”. Greek literature from Homer to Elytis and Ritsos has been constantly inspired by the olive, while the graphic arts depicted the tree, its fruit and its cultivation in various ways, from ancient murals to modern paintings. But the olive is also present in sports activities: the naked bodies of ancient athletes were anointed with oil, the winners of Olympic games were crowned with the famous wreath of wild olive leaves, the champions of the Panathenaic Games were awarded with amphorae containing something… more than just olive oil produced during the year, while the 2004 Olympic Games were symbolized by a wreath of olive leaves. Lastly, Greeks used olive oil in their everyday lives as a means of therapy, personal decoration, lighting – let us not forget that the oil lamp is the ancestor of the electrical lamp of today – and, naturally, as the nutritional product that prevailed on their dinner tables.

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