Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A History Worth Knowing
Olive oil is something we have all heard of, many of us use, and many have in our pantry or kitchen. Keeping this in mind, have you ever thought about where it comes from, where the first olive oil was made, or is there a history behind extra virgin olive oil? If so, keep reading.
What Is the History of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Olive oil dates back to ancient Persia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. It has been around for literal centuries. The first cultivation of olive trees was documented over 6,000 years ago, meaning that olive oil may very well have been around way back then. According to ancient Greek myth, the first olive tree was planted by the goddess Athena as a gift on the Acropolis.
While there is no way to prove this, the tree has been around for centuries and people have been finding ways to use its fruit. Olive oil is not the only use for olives and was not necessarily the only reason the tree was cultivated and used.
Many people enjoy eating olives, but olive oil was not only used for food purposes. Olive oil has been used for to preserve food, for fuel, as a skin protectant, for skin hydration, and so much more. Olive oil as we know it today was refined, and the process of pressing olives to help extract the oil has been perfected.
What Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil
As we have already discussed, there is a history to olive oil, and knowing a bit about the process of how it is made can help you better understand it. When olives are pressed, they let out oil in the first pressing, which is considered extra virgin olive oil. This is oil that is not mixed with any other oils or potential contaminants.
After the first press, some oil is still left in the fruit. This means that most fruits do go through a second and even third pressing to ensure that the olive gets used up fully and that no oil is left in the fruit. With each pressing, the oil becomes less and less of the virgin olive oil that you are familiar with.
Since there is less oil with each pressing, the oil from this second or third pressing is often added to other oils to help give the olive oil flavor without having the oil fully olive. Olive oil has been around for centuries and will continue to be used by so many people. Olive oil is a fantastic oil to use for cooking and eating and is a great item all around.
Categorized in: EVOO