The olive has been known since ancient times, and probably originates from the area of the eastern Mediterranean. According to ancient Greek tradition, the birthplace of the olive tree is Athens and the first olive tree was planted by Athena on the Acropolis.
The Greeks were the first people who cultivated the olive tree in the European Mediterranean area. It was carried either by Greek colonists or Phoenician traders. As Pliny mentions, in 580 BC, neither Latium, nor Spain, nor Tunis knew the olive and its cultivation.
The olive was the symbol of the goddess Athena. In Greece there are 2,700 olive mills that offer their services to olive producers, who represent 34% of the country’s rural population.
In terms of its nutritional value, the olive is a key component of the Mediterranean diet, both as an edible fruit as well as for the olive oil which is produced from it.
It is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, provides fiber and minerals to the body and is a source of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant. It is also thought that vitamin E slows down changes in cell membranes and fights osteoporosis.