The olive was first cultivated about 7000 - 8000 years ago, in South Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Aegean Islands.
Cultivated olives are larger and juicier but not always as tasty than the wild varieties. For thousands of years to the present day olives the olive tree and olive oil have all served as a symbol of sacredness, peace and unity throughout southern Europe.
As for The olive oil itself, the earliest findings dates back 6000 years to Carmel, Israel, but it was probably around thousands off years before that.
Anyone ever visiting Mainland Greece or any of the Greek Islands has certainly felt the beauty and power from wild ancient olive trees. Greece has the deepest and oldest tradition of olive trees than any other earth zone, myths about Athena, Zeus, Poseidon and other Gods and Goddesses and there relation and love of the olive tree are abundant in the Greek Myths.
Olives from different regions, can vary in size, shape colour and taste, They could be classed as a super food, with a great variety of health benefits...
Olive oil is known as liquid gold in some regions. Its flavour, colour and smell can all alter radically region to region.
After some years of trying different oils from around europe, one can feel and taste which region the oil comes from.
Thus the oil is passing on information of its life. The hotter the country the more robust the flavour of the oil.
Oil from Crete is favoured worldwide, but because of this liking to olive oil from Crete, the land has suffered, the olive groves were once flowery, insect rich places full of many different birds, unfortunately now most have been converted to irrigated intensively used agricultural land.
The liquid gold keeps the heart healthy, it can block certain cancers and may play a role controlling diabetes and weight problems. This is because olive oil is a monounsaturated fat which lowers bad cholesterol without affecting good cholesterol.
So if you haven't already switched from veg and sunflower oils to olive oil, its time to do so.
Olive oil deteriorates fast exposed to sunlight, so keep it in a dark airtight glass bottle, in a cool place, olive oil doesn't improve with age, its best used within 1 year of bottling.