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Olive tree is identified with Greek civilization and history.
A gift to Athenians from Goddess Athena, olive tree, was and remains a symbol of peace and life, and commonly regarded as ‘holy’ among ancient Greeks.
It is also suspected according to archaeological findings (sculptures, statuses and artworks) dated at the Minoan era of Crete, a pre-Greek civilization age, that the mythical Snake Goddess gave the olive tree as a present to Minoans the moment of her birth at the shores of river Triton on Crete island «Μυθολογούσι δε και την Αθηνάν κατά την Κρήτη εκ Διός εν ταις πηγαίς του Τρίτωνος ποταμού γεννηθήναι…» (Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης, 5,72).
Olive oil and olives, fed for thousands of years Greeks, and keep providing us with their priceless produce.

Numerous commendations have been suggested for olive trees from philosophers, doctors and politicians, reaching the limit of exaggeration when inferring that even a small olive tree branch can alter the route of history.
Olive trees cover the major part of Greece’s farming lands.
Their produces constitute a kind of ‘staple food’ for Greeks.
Olives and olive oil have a characteristic aroma, full of taste.
Modern science acknowledges a great positive influence to health and fitness originated from dietary patterns that include olive oil on regular consumption, like the Greek diet, the cornerstone of Mediterranean diet.
Maybe the famous ancient doctors Hippocrates, Galinos, and Dioskourides, were not aware of olive oil’s chemical synthesis, the exact and detailed description of human body’s organs, and the specific beneficial mechanisms of the so called ‘liquid gold’ (olive oil) in man but they knew it has disease therapeutic and preventive effects when consumed regularly.
Olive oil is ubiquitous found in Greek tradition and cuisine.
One will find it present in Greek diet, in pharmacy, as a substance in perfumes, used as a fuel, or even used for financial transaction mean.
It is unknown, who was first to think that brine could change bitter-poisonous olives into yummy tasteful and healthy foodstuff.
The legend has it that in ancient times Greece, some branches from an Olive tree near the shore fell into the sea.
When then pulled out the branches and after drying them, they were amazed from the fact they were delicious.
Greeks are really lucky because olives and olive oil, both worldwide recognized healthy food choices, fed since ancient time’s generations of our compatriots and was together with wine and bread part of Greek staple diet.
I characteristically remember my grandfather saying to us that eating 10 olives gives same strength as eating a standard pork steak.
And these were words coming from the same person who sold for 50 years greens and olives in the city centre of Heraklion in Crete. My grandfather taught us to love olives and vegetables and always use them in our daily meals.
In Greece olive trees can be met in a great variety of indigenous species, namely some well known are: Koroneiki, Lianolia (laurel leaf), Corinth and more.
Modern Greece has a vast territory covered with olive trees (reaching more than
100 million in numbers), and produces annually more than 250.000 tons of olive oil.
Thank you for reading!

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