Olive History

Olive Trees painting by Samuel Colman

There are different accounts as to where exactly the olive originated.  Some say the olive history dates back and took roots in Egypt.  Others say it was in Greece and dates back to Greek mythology. Others say it started with the Romans. Wherever the first sightings of the magical olive, along came certain traditions as well.  For example, in Syria, olive oil was offered to the gods as a sign of tribute.  In China, olives wrapped in red paper were sent as a gift of apology.  In Rome, the Caesars wore gold olive leaf crowns, which symbolized benediction and purification.  The first Olympic Games were celebrated with the burning of a olive tree branch.  Olive branches are synonymous with peace and wisdom even today.

But olives seem to have started out in Greece where they were used in art, pottery, coins and many other objects had images of the olive trees. By then, the olive made its way to Italy, the Middle East and then Spain.  Eventually it made its way to the Americas and soon the world began to discover the olive oil benefits.   Not only was the olive oil used in culinary creations, but olive oil for hair, olive oil for skin and for general health began to be practiced.


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