I think by now if you have checked most of the recipes that are in this blog or any recipe that has to do with Greek food , that there is one ingredient that is almost everywhere. Olive Oil!
Olive oil is one of the most celebrated ingredients and is being used almost everywhere but especially on the salads. Personally, I believe the taste that gives to food is second to none and when you use it together with vegetables and especially in the –all time classic- Greek salad then you understand why it’s so special.
The olive tree grows in rocky and arid Mediterranean area. Produce fruit under adverse conditions of drought, strong winds and high temperatures, while the longevity and productivity, wrote the history of Mediterranean peoples. The olive enlightened, nourished, healed, posed up and identified with high ideals and inspired vigorous, for many years culture of the eastern Mediterranean.
Symbol of knowledge, wisdom, peace, health, strength and beauty adored for thousands of years from the ancient Greeks. It is a living part of a severe cultural heritage, legends, traditions and religious rituals closely associated with flowering, harvest and production of oil.
The olive inherited a complex legacy of values, prosperity and culture that only recently able to evaluate and defend.
In general, Spain Italy and Greece produce 75% of world olive production and if you want to buy …look for Olive oil from those countries. Nevertheless, Greece produces the highest quality Extra-virgin olive oil, so …look for that also!
In terms of recipes, olive oil can be used as a dressing to salads and food and of course for the typical –papara- that you will see a lot of Greeks doing whenever you are there for holidays.
By Papara in Greece we mean when we mop up with bread the remaining sauces on a plate after the main part of the meal has been eaten or the salad oil remaining after the actual salad has been consumed.
One of the best and simplest foods of Ancient Greece was Psomi me Ladi, toasted slices of sourdough bread slathered in olive oil and sprinkled with lemon juice and salt. Yeap, that’s how Greeks created democracy, eating only olive oil and slices of bread…
Well, try that…do that simple think when you are hungry, take a slice of bread and put a little bit of extra virgin oil on top of it ..and maybe add a little bit of oregano or salt…or Feta Cheese. I think you will be amazed on how beautiful taste you will get and if you experiment a little bit you will find what suits you best.
Last but not least…where to buy them? Well, I think by now you should be able to find Olive oil in all big supermarkets. My personal recommendation would be to try to find olive oil from Mediterranean and of course even better from Greece. In UK you can find easily in most of the local shops or markets and of course in all the big food super markets. Recently I discovered this online Olive Oil shop also for those that want to try something more unique. Haven’t bought from there but it worth to check out all the things you can get using Olive Oil.