Greek Recipes, Weddings, Culture and Food
All About Olive Oil
From the ancient days of Greece, olive oil has always been a hugely important part of Greek culture. It was used to flavor and cook foods, to sacrifice to the gods, even to bathe in.
Olive oil was also a hugely important trade item for those Greeks. It was known world round for its quality and highly prized. Ancient Greek stories always involve olive oil, and the equipment for making olive oil is found in many excavation sites.
Olive trees were native to the Greek landscape, so it was natural for even the earliest civilizations here to pick the olives. It was only a matter of time before they discovered that pressing them released an oil that had many great properties. The very best oil comes from pressing a not-quite-right olive. This is called "agourolatho" in Greek. That first pressing of these olives is the extra virgin oil. It is kept separate from subsequent pressings.
The oils are then filtered to remove any impurities - bits of skin, bark or leaves. That's it! The oil was then put into pottery amphorae - large containers with a handle on each side and a pointed bottom. These were then distributed to local homes, and carried in ships to ports all over the Mediterranean.
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