The olive tree is an up to 20 metre tall trees that grow slowly and can become very old and are narrated in the Legends of thousands of years trees. Sometimes multifaceted so that it approaches a shrub, but usually with a thick and often distorted strain. The wood is bright yellow-green, the branches round and sometimes pubescent (wild trees have square branches, sometimes with towers). The leaves sit opposite and are leathery, dark green or grey green, with silver grey luden underparts, on cultivated trees they are narrower and larger than those of the wild. The trees are generally more long leaves in France and Italy and more broad leaved in Spain.
The flowers are bisexual, small and white, fragrant and grow in bunches from the leafy folds. They contain no nectar that attracts insects but is pollinated by the wind.
The olive is oval to almost round, 2-4 cm long, containing a wrinkled nucleus surrounded by greenished fruit flesh. The smooth shell is first green-green olives and, at ripening, it becomes brown green over red to violet-black-black olives, but it can also be reddish or white as ripe.
The first olives come when the tree is 5 years, full harvest is given when the tree is about 20; Most and tastes oil gives it at 50-150 years. A tree can give 70 kilograms of olives sometimes up to 100 kg – the world record 800 kg. Harvesting is usually done in November-December. It is not the same type of olives you eat that goes to the oil production.
There are perhaps 900 million olive trees in the world, most of them grown in the Mediterranean and east to the Middle East but are found in all parts of the world.
The Olive Tree belt is the climatic zone that extends between the 30th and the 45th latitude. Bardolino-The district of Italy is the world’s northernmost, (47 °).
The wild species is called Olea oleaster while the cultivated is called – sativa
The name Olea after Latin oleum = oil.
Europea = European. Sativa = Cultivated
The oldest traces of olive trees are supposed to be 40.000 years old, but you do not know where the tree stems – but the eastern Mediterranean is a good guess. Historical Plantations
The earliest evidence for cultivation, about 8-000 before year 0, comes from Egypt. In Egypt, one already knew 4.000 F. Year 0 that it was Osiris’s wife Isis who taught the Egyptians cultivating the tree. In a papyrus from 1100 century F. In 0, Ramses III announces the god Ra that from the olive trees grown around Heliopolis “the purest oil can be extracted to keep the lights in your sanctuary burning”. The tree was then spread by Phoenicians and Greeks west-and northwards around the Mediterranean cultivated for the fruit, not for oil extraction. In the 2000 century F. Year 0 It was cultivated on a large scale in Crete and on mainland Greece. The fruit was during classical Greek time Athens ‘ most important export. The tree was then not yet in Italy, Spain, Portugal or France but was taken at about this time to the present Provence of Phoenicians. The rapid expansion of the Roman Empire also followed the olive tree. The olive tree was consecrated to many Greek gods, e.g. Apollon and Heracles. Only the cleanest virgins were allowed to pick the fruits. The cultivated and wild olives symbolised together the marriage between Hera and Zeus. Wreaths of the cultivated olive were worn at the feasts of Hera, while the wild belonged to her husband Zeus and adorned his statues.
Long before there were temples on the Acropolis there would have been a holy olive groves. Later there was a single olive tree that was said to be the tree of Athena and prevailed over the well and woe of the people. This, like the source of the salt water of Poseidon, should have remained within the walls of the city when Perserkungen Xerxes took Athens around 400 before the age of 0. Everything was burned down, but it was said that the day after, an arms long shot emerged from the stem of the olive tree. This olive tree’s ability to beat the shot in moisture, even after it has been sawn to planks or carved, tells Theophrastus (300 century F. 0) about as a well-known and troublesome phenomenon; He gives the example of a oar that it suddenly knocked out the leaves. Around 600 BC, Greeks from Phocaea built a new city Massalia = Marseille in the current south of France. Thus, the cultivation of olive trees and vines in these regions also began
In ancient times it was seen as a war crime to chop down the olive groves of besieged peoples; So not today.
And the one who chopped down a tree could, according to Lisia, be condemned to death. Aristotle (300 BC) tells us that women used olive oil mixed with cedar oil and blysalva as a means of pregnancy. This use of olive oil is found in other cultures – the oil itself is thick enough to inhibit sperm motility. The method was relaunched in England in the 1930 century, but without lead. The oil was also used in childbirth problems and in massage for pregnanta stomachs to reduce the risk of stretch marks.
In Italy, it is usually called that the olive tree must have silence, drought, solitude, stone, and sun to develop and yield good harvests. The tree thrives in the same climate as the vine and is seen around the Mediterranean often together with this. There are about 900 different kinds of olive trees, of which a 50 is grown, different varieties for edible olives and for oil extraction. They withstand heat and drought but are susceptible to frost, the temperature must not be less than-5 ° longer and are difficult to spraying because the olives take on taste. Do not like to stand by the humid sea. Under 300 meters above sea level, the biggest danger is a fly that lays hundreds of thousands of eggs in each olive. A simple control method is to attract the female into cans of limpapper. No one has yet tried genmanipulera olive trees.
The culture that consumed most olive oil is probably the Roman Empire of the centuries after the birth of Christ.
It is given two comfortable fluids for the body, says Pliny the first century: “Internal wine and topical oil, however, the oil is the most necessary”.
In Rome as in Greece, the olive oil was food, detergent, fuel, ingredient in medicine and perfume, and the oil in front of others when it was made a herb oil. In Rome, the olive tree was consecrated to the goddess of war Minerva, but also to the goddess of peace. They made victory wreaths of the leaves in the same way as with laurel leaves. The Romans also had a “olivoljebörs” called “Arca Oleari”. For Mediterranean peoples, trade in olive oil has always been important.
Ships adapted for these transports were called “Onerarie” and then “Marciliane”. They were bottomed and could take up to 500 barrels.
The next big spread of olive oil became the Catholic Church. Olive oil was/is the base of the anointing oil that symbolizes the Holy Spirit. It spread throughout the Christian world, long with the help of the Republic of Venice which had a commercial monopoly and determined prices, measures and imports.
A more unusual preparation with olive oil as an ingredient was the philosopher’s oil. This oil with Vidbränd smell was prepared by annealing pieces of brick soaked in olive oil after which everything was distilled. The oil was found on by an Arab doctor in the 1000 century and the name received it, completely without ironic biton, because it considered so profound. Other names were championship oil, the sage’s oil and brick oil. It was not officinal formulae in Swedish pharmacopoeias, but well in Stockholmsfarmakopén 1686 as an antiseptic, proportioning and astringent agent, which was also considered effective against epilepsy. Carl Linnaeus also had with it in his Pharmacopaea Holmiensis about 1740. Still in the 1910 century was requested Filosofoljan at the Swedish pharmacy, which then completely frankly left out sesame oil with tar.