The History of Olive Oil
The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin; Neolithic peoples, as early as the 8th millennium BC, collected wild olives. The wild olive tree originated on the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent between Mesopotamia and Phoenicia (levantine Mediterranean seacoast). It is not clear when and where olive trees were first domesticated; in Phoenicia in the 6th millennium, or somewhere in the Mesopotamian in the 3rd millennium.
Overtime, the olive tree spread across Mediterranean basin, at this same time the phoenician began to trade it. They arrived to the South Coast of Iberian Peninsula, at IX B.C. Soon, the land was to become the most important production areas of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
In the ancient Roman Empire, the consumption of extra virgen olive oil reached the confines of the empire, as well as from the cloudy borders of Britain to the Danubian snowy plains. The olive oil trade grew as never before, Baetica (Andalusia) was the main center of oil production during the centuries of the empire.
In the Andalusian period, agricultural cultivation techniques developed, deepened and perfected and that of the olive tree being of utmost importance. Some of the most prominent Muslims writers of the twelfth century, the philosopher Ibn Bajja, better known as Avempace; or Ibn Rushd (Averroes): wrote about the properties of extra virgin olive oil and offered recipes to the population.
At present, Spain is by far the biggest producer of olive oil in the world, accounting last year for around 50% of the total production worldwide, However, Spain is not the biggest bottler of olive oil in the world. Others countries buy EVOO and then bottle it in their countries. Have you ever ask yourself, why it is that Spain is the biggest producer of olive oil in the world, and yet there are only a few brands of Spanish olive oil available in your supermarket?
Well, now you have the oportunity to buy extra virgin olive oil and know exactly where it comes from and its precise location within the Spanish countryside.