The olive, Olea europaea, derives from a species of a small tree in the Oleaceae family and is native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iraq and northern Iran at the south of the Caspian Sea. The use of olive oil dates back 6,000 years BC in the Mediterranean region. The olive tree is among the oldest cultivated trees by man having been grown before the use of written language.
Homer referred to olive oil as liquid gold. In ancient Greece, athletes ritually rubbed it all over their bodies. Olive oil has been more than mere food to the peoples of the Mediterranean but rather, it has been medicinal, magical, and an endless source of fascination and wonder.
Beginning in 5,000 BC and until 1,400 BC, olive cultivation spread from Crete to Syria, Palestine, and Israel. Eventually, through mercantile efforts, the knowledge of olives was brought to Southern Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt. The Spanish missionaries established olive cultivation in the 18th century in California. It was first cultivated at Mission San Diego de Alcala in the late 1700’s. Olive tree cultivation gradually became a highly successful commercial venture from the 1860’s onward. Today, approximately 41,000 acres of olive trees are planted and harvested in California.
We treasure extra virgin olive oil for its nutritional and culinary virtues. La Cucina Italiana reports that extra virgin olive oil is the most digestible of the edible fats. It helps to assimilate vitamins A, D and K. It contains essential fatty acids that cannot be produced by our own bodies and it slows the aging process. Research has now determined that olive oil, as a monounsaturated fat, increases HDL, (good cholesterol) making it a heart healthy fat.
Olive Oils at Strippaggio
The majority of the olive oils you will find in our store come from producers who have cultivated, harvested and milled the olives in the United States. Many of the varieties we offer are certified by the California Olive Oil Council. We are also pleased to offer some of the first Georgia olive oil, produced in the state of Georgia. The remainder of our oils are obtained from producers in other countries and all suppliers are thoroughly vetted to ensure that their products meet our rigorous standards for ensuring “extra virgin” classification.