The origin of Olive Tree was lost in a mixture of reality and myth. The history of Olive tree goes long way back in time through different eras of humankind, where historians found it hard to establish the exact time and location of the beginnings of growing Olive Trees, but it is a fact that the history of Olive Tree was bonded with the history of the Mediterranean Civilizations, where it took an importance place in shaping the culture and civilization of that area. Even the Holly books cherished Olive Tree along with poets and artists.The Mediterranean beaches of Syria & Palestine are considered the genuine origin of Olive Tree where it spread then to rest of the world. And it is a fact the Olive Tree existed since “Stone Age” 12 thousand years B.C. and it was clearly known that Olive Tree was found in Syria & Palestine around 3 thousand years B.C., some Olive leafs and seeds where found in the ruins of Ebla in Edlib-Syria that’s goes to 2500 years B.C., as well as it was found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians goes to 1500 years B.C., and many other clues that it existed in period in the Oasis of Libya and the beaches of Aegean in Turkey & Greece.
History recalls that In the 16th century B.C. the Phoenicians distributed Olive Tree throughout Greek Isles where its cultivation increased and gained great importance in the 4th century BC in the era of “Solon”.
At the 11th century B.C. around the year 1030, the Phoenicians –masters of the sea back then- introduced Olive Tree for the 1st time to Spain. In the 6th century B.C., the cultivation of Olive Tree moved to many Mediterranean countries through Libya & Tunisia. The Romans contributed deploying Olive Tree in the Mediterranean and considered it as a weapon in their hands as a stabilizing factor for the population, as for the Muslim Arabs, they played an important role in spreading & evolving this kind of cultivation, where the introduced many kinds of Olive to the European side of the Mediterranean, especially Spain to the point that the words of Olive & Oil in Spanish where taken from Arabic language at that time. The Spanish explorers where the first to introduce Olive Tree to the Americas, starting the year 1560 it appeared in Mexico & Peru, then to California, Chile and Argentina, Olive continued to spread in modern times, reaching southern Africa, Australia, Japan and China.
Advice to Avoid common misleading myths about olive oil:
Color: Many of us think that the greener Olive Oil is better in quality than the yellow. Experts clarify that green color is due to the pressing of unripe Olives mixed with Olive leaves. The best time to pick an Olive Oil for taste and color is when the Olive color is green blackish then the oil will come out greenish yellow.
Quality: The best type of Olive Oil is the fresh & natural (untreated chemically), refining Olive Oil strips it from most of its nutritious values that we seek. “100%” Olive Oil is refined Olive Oil, mistakenly-many of us think that refined Olive Oil is lighter than the Extra Virgin with the same nutritional values.
When you desire to buy the best quality Olive Oil for use with salads or food or even just for skin or hair treatment, read the label first and make sure it reads “Extra Virgin”. But, if you wish to use it to fry food, you may use either. General Information:
Extra Virgin Olive oil: Is the best quality in taste and health benefits, produced from the first squeeze, which has maximum acidity 0.8 degrees, Peroxide value of not more than 20 meg/kg , K 270m less than 0.25, and delta-K less than 0.01.EVOO is considered as the best quality of Olive Oil in taste and health benefits.
Virgin Olive Oil: produced from the first squeeze, which has maximum acidity 1.5 degrees, Peroxide value of not more than 20 meg/kg.
Lampante Olive Oil: Lampante virgin Olive Oil is the lowest grade of virgin Olive Oil and is not fit for human consumption, where as its acidity exceeds 3.3 degrees and may have unpleasant taste and aroma; it is normally used for refining industry or for technical uses.
Second Squeeze (Decanter) Olive Oil: It is obtained from second squeeze of the Olive pulp, and it is the lowest grade of Olive Oil, it is fit for human consumption after refining.
Pomace Olive Oil: Extracted from Olive pulp using chemical process. It is the lowest grade of Olive Oil and considered an inferior grade. Not suitable for human consumption unless refined. In Addition, it is used in some industries, such as soap manufacturing and some others due to high unlimited acidity.