Olive tree cultivation and olive oil production has been the most important activity in Greece since Antiquity and an integral part of everyday life for the Ancient Greeks.
The olive tree has been an essential symbol of Greek culture, representing wealth, wellbeing and victory. It is worldwide known that the Olympic Games winners were crowned with a wild olive wreath. In all the major writings of ‘Homer’ (Greek ancient author of the Odyssey & Iliad), olive oil has been referred to as ‘liquid gold’ and in fact it has been a symbol of social status used by wealthy people for consuming in food, cleaning or used in lighting. It has been an essential ingredient also in medicine, used to treat a variety of conditions such as skin conditions, burns, infections, etc.
Greece has a long tradition in olive oil production. The mild and sunny climate in the area, the fertile soil and the abundant land, have all been the ideal conditions for tasteful and nutritious olive oil. The traditional Greek diet which consists of all goods deriving from this blessed land, such as fruits, vegetables and seeds, in combination with daily use of olive oil, has been the main reason for the longevity levels and good health until an older age.
MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE WITH OLIVE OIL & NUTRICIOUS VALUES
Olive Oil has been a staple of Mediterranean cuisine for many years, with numerous benefits for health
Cholesterol - Controlling
When consumed in moderation, olive oil can help reduce LDL cholesterol, which is actually the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
- Vitamin K assists with blood clotting in the body and can also help maintain bone density.One tablespoon of olive oil provides 8.1 micrograms of vitamin K.
- It is also rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, which are believed to help protect cells from damage and contribute to higher lifespan.
Cancer & Heart Disease Prevention
Scientists and nutritionists have long associated the Mediterranean diet with a lower incidence of heart disease and some cancers. Studies performed have attributed these health benefits partially to the Mediterranean consumption of olive oil.
- Olive oil in cooking can replace butter which has high levels of saturated fats that increase ‘bad’ cholesterol and have a high calorific content.
- It is used in cosmetics, soaps, cleansers etc and is proven to have beneficial effects in treating skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, psoriasis etc.
- Olive oil is used in washing powders for clothes, ideal for washing baby clothes and helping to prevent allergies caused by chemical agents. It also helps protect nature by being 100% biological and biodegradable.
OLIVE OIL TYPES
Extra Virgin (Acidity < 0.8%)
This oil is considered to be the premium grade of olive oil. It is made from the first pressing of olives. The oil is extracted by the traditional cold-pressing method, where no chemicals and only a small amount of heat are applied.
Virgin (Acidity < 1.5%)
This oil is produced from the second pressing of olives or from the second-best grade of olives by cold-pressing, without use of chemicals and use of little heat.
Olive Oil (Acidity < 2.0%)
Also promoted as "pure" olive oil. This type of oil is non-virgin, commercial-grade olive oil. This grade of olive oil consists of the inferior oil that is a result of subsequent pressings after the virgin oil has been extracted from lower-quality olives. This oil then undergoes a refining process involving heat, chemical solvents, high pressure and filtration treatments. This oil is then mixed with a small quantity of virgin olive oil to restore colour and flavour.
Light & Extra Light
These oils are produced from the last pressing of olives. They are more refined and of lower quality than the other grades. There is little of the natural olive flavour and colour in these oils.