Olive oil cured olives for export
The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean region and spread to nearby countries from there. It is estimated the cultivation of olive trees began more than 7000 years ago. As far back as 3000 BC, olives were grown commercially in Greece. The ancient Greeks used to smear olive oil on their bodies and hair as a matter of grooming and good health.
Olives are too bitter to be eaten right off the tree and must be cured to reduce their intrinsic bitterness. Processing methods vary with the olive variety, region where they are cultivated, and the desired taste, texture and color.