Olive oil is the liquid fat extracted from the olive fruit, a traditional crop native to the Mediterranean region. Thus, it has long been a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, including ancient Roman and Greek specialties. The earliest history of olives dates back to the 8th millennium B.C., where wild varieties were collected by Neolithic people in Asia Minor.
Nevertheless, olive oil is the most common vegetable oil. And, it is traditionally used as a cooking oil and a salad dressing. Although its flavor, texture, and aroma vary depending on the producer and terroir, it generally offers salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and pungent flavors, along with a rich aroma and a buttery mouthfeel.
Besides its culinary uses, olive oil is also being used in medicine, cosmetics, soaps, and even as a fuel for traditional lamps.
Olive Oil Trivia
- Olive trees can live up to 6 centuries.
- The National Olive Day is celebrated every June 1st.
- There is an International Olive Oil Council that creates standards, guidelines, and promotions for olive oil around the world.