Olive oil and history

Indisputably, olive oil is the most valuable commodity of Greek nature , the crown of Greek nutrition . For centuries the land of Attica produces extra virgin olive oil and similar information exists concerning Megara.

The olive harvest was a strenuous but enjoyable process , which our ancestors were making consistently and methodically . In early Mycenaean times olive oil was a valuable asset not only as food but also economically and culturally. The fruit and oil of olives were collected in large jars and stored in large warehouses of the Mycenean or Minoan palaces in the same place where they hid the gems . Indeed, during the excavations inside the jars were often found remnants of their content. On the other hand, the economic value of the olives was important in prehistoric times and back to the 3rd millennium BC was used as a barometer for trade.

The Greek olive oil was exported to the Mediterranean and the East and its excellent quality has always been recognized by buyers . As a marketable product has never ceased to be traded. The Greeks continued to merchandise olive oil irreducibly during the Classical, Roman and Hellenistic period. In addition, the olive oil as a commodity was considered to be blessed by the gods and that is why it was used in almost all rituals. The goddess Demeter had blessed the fruit of the olive tree to bear fruit in the winter. The goddess Athena in her fight with Poseidon for supremacy in Athens used the olive against her rival’s element, water. After she won and took the city under her protection , made the olive tree an eternal symbol of her power and wisdom.

Later, when the Greeks sacrificed their ancient gods on the altar of the new religion of Christianity , olive oil was introduced again as a blessed good. "the oil, the wine and the wheat blessed " says the Christian religion and our olive oil is leading element of the Christian rituals , such as baptism. The olive tree is considered as blessed by Christ Himself . So many times he had taught under the shade of the olive tree. And it was the roots of an olive tree that accepted Jesus’s tears during His last prayer on the Garden of Gesthemene.
Today in Megarian land olive trees continue to offer their high quality fruit, giving us a nutritional treasure of health and longevity.

Eleftheria Samouris Vordos