OLIVES& OLIVE OIL
Olives are oval-shaped fruits obtained from the Olea europaea tree; a naturalized, medium-size tree of Mediterranean origin. The fruits, and oil extracted from them, have been part of important food sources for the natives around Mediterranean Sea since centuries. Ancient Greeks believed that growing olive would bring peace and prosperity since they rely upon it to derive most of the essentialities.
Botanically, the fruits belong to the family of Oleaceae, in the genus: Olea.
Olive tree is a slow growing, evergreen tree with gnarled trunk with grey, fissured branches and foliage of gray-green, fleshy, narrow leaves. It may reach up to 50 feet in height in their natural habitat and live for more than 500 years. It grows well in frost free, dry, and well-drained soils. It starts bearing fruits when the plant reaches about 3-4 years of age, however, some cultivars may take much longer time before their first harvest. The tree blooms in the spring which subsequently develops into small round to oval green color berries by summer.
Olive is a drupe or stone-fruit with a central single seed, surrounded by edible pulp. Their size and shape greatly varies depending on the cultivar type. On an average, a fruit weighs about 3-5 g. Raw fruits are green, which turn yellow to dark as it ripens further. Its fruits are generally picked at stages, whether they destined to be used as table fruits or pressed for oil.