The origin of olives

The genus of the first olives is located on the border between Turkey and Syria. To the period around 6000-8000 years ago. The exact details are not clear. A DNA study of fossilized pollen from wild olives helped narrow it down to this period.

For thousands of years, olive oil's primary function has been to light lamps rather than culinary uses. Edible olives seem to date back to the Bronze Age from 3150 to 1200  B.C. ). Over the centuries, cultivation by man has managed to reduce the bitterness in olives and also increase production. There are over 700 species around the world today.

The first expansion of olive cultivation appears to be around Greece and Egypt. (1700 BC The palace of Knossos in Crete is part of that legacy.. Another is an olive tree on the island of Crete that is 4000 years old.

Later the Phoenicians would be around 1000 B.C. Brought olives to Spain and North Africa. The expansion of the Roman Empire was key to olive oil. Production boomed and olive oil became the most popular. More olive mills were built as this culinary food became more popular.

You can visit the Matera Olive Oil Museum in Southern Italy to learn more about that specific region.