Olive oil is very important in Greek culture and food. The Greek food was built on olives and olive oil. There is an amazing number of different varieties of olives in Greece. From Kalamata to Peloponessos, black olives to green, you can be sure you will be getting a different and exquisite experience each time you consume a Greek olive.
From all these wonderful olives comes olive oil – olive oil with such an amazing taste, that the Italians actually used to buy it from the Greeks. Organic extra Virgin Olive oil in UK is used extensively in Greek recipes, and it is also a favorite to drizzle over salads, dip bread in, and use in stews.
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People eat more olive oil in Greece than any other country in the world – about 26 liters per person, every year. To further demonstrate, the people in Italy and Spain eat an average of 14 liters a year per person.
Health Benefits of Greek Olive Oil
All of this olive oil is most likely the reason that Greeks often remain so healthy – olive oil has a staggering amount of health benefits. Olive oil contains something called monounsaturated fatty acids, which is known to reduce your cholesterol.
Antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamin E also can help prevent heart disease, increase the digestion, reduce inflammation and even reduce the risk of and battle colon cancer. And, it tastes great too! It's no surprise that olive oil is such a popular ingredient in Greek food.
Olive Oil Has A Special Place in Greek Mythology
The goddess Athena planted the olive tree as a way to get in good with the people of Acropolis. Acropolis became known as the home of olive oil. While the Armenians and Egyptians were aware of the olive tree, the Greeks were the first ones to take part in the full-scale cultivation of the olive into olive oil, between the 7th and 3rd centuries BC.