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Olive History

Olives are native to the Mediterranean area


olive, history, oil, fruit, recipes, receipts


© 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
Long a symbol of peace, the olive branch brings us a marvelous, healthy fruit. Get up to date on this ancient fruit, from its origins to some intriguing olive recipes.

Olive History

The olive, botanically-known as Olea europaea, dates back to 17th century B.C where it first appeared in print in Egyptian records. Olives were mentioned numerous times in the Bible. The word comes from the Latin olivea which first appeared in English around 1200 a.d.

Since the olive is native to the Mediterranean area, it is no surprise to learn the largest producers in the world are Italy and Spain, where olives are a diet mainstay.

Olive trees were introduced to California circa 1769 by the Spaniards, where they flourished. California now provides almost 200,000 tons of commercial olive crops per year.

In the late 19th century, Professor Frederic T. Bioletti of the University of California invented a method of canning olives (referred to as "green ripe") using an alkaline solution and brine. This process provided year-round availability of olives and a boost to the olive industry.

More About Olives, Olive Oil, and Olive Recipes

Olive Selection, Storage, and Labels
Olive Varieties
Olive Brining and Curing
Types of Olive Oil
Olive and Health
Olive History
Olive and Olive Oil Recipes
Olive Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.


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