The olive

  • ELIA
  • ELIA

RECIPE of the week

Chicken roll Chicken roll more

The olive gift from the Gods

Ancient Greek mythology relates that the goddess Athena, goddess of peace and wisdom, and the god of the sea Poseidon disagree over who was to give their name to the new city of Attica.
Zeus, seeking to end and their dispute, decided that the city would take the name of the god who offered the best gift to the residents of Attica. Poseidon threw his trident against a rock and cool water immediately gushed out from a spring. Athena hit the ground near the Acropolis with her spear and an olive oil tree sprouted out. The olive tree was considered more valuable, since it could provide light, heat, medicines and cosmetics, etc. And so the city took the name of the goddess Athena. Tradition holds that this was the first Greek olive tree. The olive tree was always been symbol of peace and reconciliation. A burning olive branch was also the symbolic torch for the Olympic Games, at which the victor was crowned with a wreath made from the sacred olive growing on the Acropolis. 


The olive’s long life has made it a symbol of civilization because it guarantees a settle future. Olive groves literally “root” a family to its home, representing constancy and continuity.  

The olive tree can reach a height between 3 -12 m. The first 5-8 years it does not produce olives. It matures after 20 years and it gives the richest harvest between the ages of 35 to 150. The olive tree has an average life span of 300 - 600 years. There are olive trees that are thought to be over 2 000 years old! 

Today there are more than 800 million olive trees in the world. From them about 150 million are in their ancient home – Greece, where big part of them are still cultivated, harvested and processed using techniques recognized for thousands years ago. Over 100 different types of olive trees are cultivated in Greece which thrives in a climate of long hot summers and mild winters with very little frost. This unique combination of Mediterranean climate, rocky and arid soil, contributes to the production of excellent quality olives and olive oil.