Thursday, 14 July 2016

Real Greek Extra Virgin Olive oil

Greek olive oil.  Guaranteed to keep your skin smooth and wrinkle free and your heart  pumping regularly.  Olive oil also gives you light, keeping alight the lamps in many churches and makes a pure, green
soap.  My brother-in-law always made great blocks of this rough, green soap after the olive harvest and washed his hair with it, claiming at the age of 80 it was the soap that kept his hair from going grey. In my early years on Poros my mother-in-law washed the dishes with a block of this natural oil soap.  I hated it.  The soap would not form suds and there was an oily scum around the basin at the end.  

We pick and pickle or salt our own olives.  Serve them with lemon juice and a pool of oil so you can dip your bread.

The olive tree provides the best fire wood, slow and long burning.  This one gives shade to our car as well.  It does need a good trim though.  At the moment it hides our view of the sea and the lights of Athens.  Wild claims that boiled olive leaf tea helps cure all sorts of illnesses swept through the country a few years ago and for a short while olive leaves wrapped in plastic were even on sale in the supermarket.  Come and pick your own!  Or just continue eating the olives and the oil.

Our garage

What fresher oil than this, eaten on our terrace......

With a view of the very trees it came from.  The olive groves on the hillside opposite us.

Some of the years supply of home pickled olives.

Greek extra-virgin olive oil is now on sale in Australian supermarkets.  The same brand we can also buy in our  own local supermarket. Australia now produces a lot of its own olive oil.  The climate is very similar to ours.

An olive oil stain on your clothes can be easily removed by squirting some dish liquid on the spot and giving it a brief rub.  Bundle the garment up and throw it in the washing machine.  Gone.

The olive tree is native to the mediterranean. Traces of olive oil in jugs 4,000 years old have been found in a tomb on the greek island of Naxos.   Modern greeks have the highest per capita consumption of olive oil, 24 litres per person per year.  That is 2 litres per person every month.  Thinking about the amount of olive oil we use in salads and cooking I guess that is about right, even though we are trying to cut down. 

We also use olive oil to light the lamp on the family cemetary plot.  If you pass the graveyard at night you will see a hundred of these little lamps flickering in the dark among the graves.

There is an ancient olive tree on Crete thought to be 2 or 3,000 years old.  It has been declared a natural  monument.  It's root system is massive and enormously twisted.  Amazing.  It still produces olives.  The branches from this tree were used for the Beijing and Athens Olympics.

There is another tree in a village near Bethlehem which is thought to be between 4 and 5,000 years old.   


  1. Yup Greeks love their olive oil. I have an olive tree in a pot! Olive leaf extract is great for boosting your immune system. You can buy it at health shops. Love the pics

  2. Back a few years oliveleaf extract was bring talked about on the air waves, on tv shows, being put out there mainly as a cure for cancer. There were immediate denials from the medical community but people went mad over it. One tv show had a demo of how to make juice in a blender, sort of like an iced oliveleaf frappe. It was crazy