Τετάρτη, 28 Νοεμβρίου 2012

What olive oil means to Greeks..!



Olive oil is “Our Present, Past and Future”



Olive tree cultivation and olive oil production has been with humankind since time immemorial, according to evidence that provide the artefacts and archaeological remains of the most ancient civilisations. The olive has been an integral part of life in the eastern Mediterranean from the first stirrings of civilisation. There are stone mortars and presses used for olive oil extraction that date back to 5000 BC. Archaeological findings from the Minoan Palaces in Crete are fine examples of olive oil’s role in the Cretan or Minoan civilisation, which reached its zenith between 2000 and 1450 BC.



Olive grove in Zante
The olive tree was a particularly important symbol for the ancient Greeks. It was connected to their diet and their religion, and was used as a decorative motif on vases, in gold jewellery and elsewhere. It was considered a symbol of peace, wisdom and victory. That is why the winners of the Olympic Games were crowned with a wreath of wild olive (the cotinus).

Olives

Zakynthian Family collecting Olives

Greeks collect the olives during the winter months. They usually start in November and they finish in January.  Collecting the olives it’s not easy as the weather conditions makes it harder. Also it requires all the family to participate as it a demanding job to do. The past few year’s farmers use advanced equipment in order to make it easier to collect the olives.

The olive Tree it’s a holy tree for Greeks. Greeks use Olive oil in many different ways. We use it in our cooking, in our salads, e.g Greek Salad, we use it to make various cosmetics like soaps, creams etc. We also use the woods from olive trees to keep us warm in the winter.

Zakynthian family collecting olives




Olive Oil production In Zante

Olive Oil has been the main agricultural product of Zakynthos Island for hundreds of years. In Zakynthos today, there are 8500 families of farms 3,000 of which have farming as their only source of income. From the 100,000 acres of arable land, the 1000 are olives groves which are commonly referred to as “liostasia”

There are approximately 1,700,000 olive trees in Zante.  The average annual production of olive oil in Zakynthos is 6,000 -8,000 tons.

The Zakynthians are tightly bound to their land, the natural environment, rural life and oil cultivation and production. During the oil picking period “liotrivi” in autumn and winter, the locals experience a traditional ritual. Olive oil is for us: Our present, our past and our future.


Olives in sack

Olive oil production - Zante

Olive oil production Zante

Olive oil production - Zante

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