Black olives from Crete (dry salt-cured) 350gr.

BLACK-OLIVES-350GR

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The olives have been the most popular nutritional element of the Greek rural populations diet together with olive oil based dishes. Today the olive is gaining recognition as an integral part of the Mediterranean diet without losing its modesty. Taste our dry salt-cured black olives as an appetizer with gruyere cheese, tomatoes and Cretan barley rusk.

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What are the olives?

The olive is the fruit of the olive tree which for thousands of years has been part of the daily diet. It is known that all olives soonest they ripe on the tree and are ready for harvesting are still bitter and not edible without processing. This is due to a polyphenolic component of the olive the oleuropein one exception being the savory (throumpa) olive which during the stage of ripening loses its bitterness and can be eaten fresh. It is not known exactly when the consumption of olives began either bitter or processed. In Greece, there is a tradition in the processing of the olives to be edible and acquire excellent characteristics in the taste.

The history of the edible olive. 

The appearance of the olive tree goes back thousands of years before the appearance of man on earth. There is a reference to Syria, Egypt and Asia minor as the probable places of origin. From there it spread to the Greek mainland, the Greek islands and later to Italy (Sicily, Sardinia) and during the 2nd century b.c. in the rest of the Mediterranean. It is said that the olive already existed in the Mediterranean basin when primitive man began to deal with agriculture. In Greece, the cultivation of olive trees began during the Mycenaean period as noted by the findings of the excavations. In Egypt, it is said that in 2.000 b.c. the olive groves either disappeared from unknown causes or the interest of the population turned to other sources of cultivation. Later a considerable movement of population to the south coast of Crete followed where it is probable that the olive tree was transferred to. The cultivation of the olive tree in Greece started in Crete around 3.500 years b.c. In Knossos and Arhanes olive pits contained in vases have been found while in Zakros entire olives with flesh dated 1.450 b.c. were found. Also, olive pits have been found in tombs in Messaras while in other parts of the island oil presses of the post-Mycenaean II and III period era (1450-1200 b.c.) were found. There are olives portrayed in works of art of this period. In Knossos palace, there is a fresco that is an excellent portrayal of an olive grove while in golden glasses found in Vafiou, Lakonia, there are decorations of olive trees (16th century b.c.).

What edible olives offer to our health.

Greek olives constitute a complete food and essential supplement for every table by offering generous health and longevity.

1. They have anticancer properties. Due to the high content of vitamin A and tocopherol they reduce the risk for a certain number of cancers such as breast, pancreas, stomach, larynx, bladder and prostate.

2. Contribute to a healthy heart. Edible olives being rich in antioxidant prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and help in the prevention of cardiac diseases. Also, they contain monosaturated fat that help in the protection of the heart from atherosclerosis. At the same time, the monosaturated fat reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. Edible olives posess antioxidants in comparison to olive oil 10 to 1.

3. Combats osteoporosis. Studies have shown that the micronutrients that exist in black olives are beneficial in the combat with osteoporosis and the prevention of bone loss and, in particular, the femurs.

Be advised by your nutritionist about the correct amounts of dry salt cured olives in your diet.

Ideas how to enjoy dry salt-cured olives.

-As an appetizer with oregano, vinegar and slices of lemon.

-In Greek salad with feta cheese.

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