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Olive – The fruit of ancient Athens’ sacred tree, which is celebrated on World Olive Tree Day!
The olive tree was the gift of goddess Athena to Athens – the city named after her. Its product – olive and olive oil – has ever since been present in the Greek diet. Across the centuries it has been also used in medicine and cosmetics, with great results.
From the ancient times, the olive oil was the main staple in Greek households and everyday life, from cooking, to lighting of their homes, temples and churches, to making soaps, perfumes and all kinds of special and elegant containers to hold the oil.
There is no Greek food recipe without the main ingredient – Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). It certainly is the most essential part of the Mediterranean Diet. Try it in various combinations, raw (as in a Choriatiki salad) or cooked in almost every Greek dish. It is the basic oily substance used in cooking, and a healthier substitute for butter. You will find top quality olive oil in the Peloponnese, Crete, Lesvos Island, Halkidiki, Central Greece and many other areas.