“Olea prima omnium arborum est…”∗
“Olive tree is the first of all trees.”∗
Olive tree is botanically known as Olea europae. Originated in Asia Minor and was put under cultivation in seacoast of the eastern Mediterranean between 1200–1700 B. C.. Native to the Mediterranean region, as one of the oldest domesticated crops known by human.
Olive trees are the most durable trees in the world. The substance of ‘Oleuropein’ which makes the fruit bitter is the material that gives immortality to the olive tree.
Olives are nutritious and delicious fruits of the olive tree. In the beginning, olive was more likely to be eaten as fruit. Olives constituted an important component of the human diet, which contains 15 to 25% oil.
Olives are bitter, when plucked from the tree. More than a thousand phenolic compounds are responsible for that inedible taste. But these compounds are the small particles of Mediterranean diet miracle.
Olives need to be cured before eating. Unripe olives are steeped in water to reduce their bitterness. The only exception is the early olives of Karaburun peninsula, İzmir/Turkey. They can be eaten without curing; natural gift of ‘olea pomea’ bacterium, activated with morning dew brought by the coolness of the ‘Mimas’ mountain and winds wandering from the Aegean Sea…