The national fruit of Greece is the Olive. In Greek mythology, Athena, the goddess of wisdom and victory, was credited with inventing the olive. The sacred tree of Athena was located in the Athenian Acropolis. In fact, an olive tree was planted at the center of the Parthenon.
Olive trees have been cultivated for more than 3000 years. In ancient Greece, olive oil was used for cooking and to make soap and medicine. Olive wood is still used to make fine furniture and expensive decorative arts. The olive is also a symbol of peace and friendship between Greece and its neighbors.
The olive tree is a small evergreen tree. The leaves are dark green and shiny on top and pale green underneath. The fruit is a small, oval, or pear-shaped drupe about 2–4 cm long.
Traditionally they are found in the Mediterranian basin. All the countries of the Mediterranean cultivate the species. Besides, South America, South Africa, China, Australia, Newzealand, Mexico, United States also produce this species.
Is an Olive a fruit?
According to the definition of the fruit, “A fruit is the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a flowering plant, enclosing the seed.”
So we can say that it belongs to the fruit family naming stone fruits. That means Olive is the fruit of an olive tree.
What is the special about Olives in Greece?
Though Olive first appeared in the eastern Mediterranean sea but was first cultivated in Greece. The Olive of Greece is good in quality. The Olive is closely related to the tradition and the culture of the Greek people. The symbol of the olive tree symbolizes wealth, health, wisdom, beauty, and abundance.
Different Types of Greek Olives
It’s not possible to find a Greek table without the Olive. There are different kinds of Greek Olives. Here is more about this.
- Kalamata– The kalamata are the best Olives in Greek, grown in the valley of Messina. It has tight, shiny skin and an almond-shaped body. Sliced Kalamata Olives cured in red wine.
- Conservolia– The Conservolia Olives supplies 80% of the raw materials of oil production. They are common Olive throughout Greece. The color may change from green to black.
- Amfissa– The Amfissa Olive gives a unique flavor. It is a better choice to mix with cheese, goat milk, or poultry dishes.
- Nafplion– Namplion green olives grow in the valley of Agros. They are small light green Olive. These little Olive have a crunchy, slightly nutty, and slightly smoky taste.
- Tsakistes– The Tsakistes grow in the Attica region of Greece. The word tsakistes means cracked. After picking, they preserve them with lemon and garlic.
- Koroneiki– The Koroneiki Olives, also known as Cretan green Olives, are tiny in size. The island of Crete is famous for this kind of Olives. Despite their size, they are a good source of oil.
- Halkithiki-The Halkithiki Olives are oval-shaped grown in the Greek region of Halkithiki. It is adjacent to Mount Athos. These Olives are big and called Donkey Olives, processed with brine curing. The Olive has a soft flavor.
However, there are plenty of Olive varieties available in Greece. These are the identity of the Greek people.
That’s all for today. If you want to share anything related to Olive or have any questions, let us know in the comment section.