A short history
The story of how the silver-coloured olive tree came to be in the regions of the Mediterranean basin is lost in the depths of time. Legends tell that it was a gift to men from the gods, or perhaps an offering from demigods to the gods, but it has always had an important role as a prize for spiritual and sporting struggles and as a symbol of peace, wisdom and eternity.
Homer called olive oil "liquid gold", not only to describe its colour but also to tell us an age-old truth. Fruit-laden olive trees and jars filled with olives have always been a guarantee of health, prosperity, blessing and nobility. Although the poet's words reveal his admiration for the olive, the beginnings of Mediterranean peoples’ relation with the olive tree and its fruits are lost in the depths of time. It is believed that the name has Phoenician roots (elyon = superior) and it appears that olive oil was part of Mediterranean peoples’ diet as early as 5,000 years ago! And fossilised olive leaves which are 50 000 to 60 000 years old have been found in Santorini!