OLIVES

OLIVES THAT MAKE OLIVE OIL

The Olea Europaea - sativa is one of the diverse species of olive tree found throughout the Mediterranean basin. It is from the fruit of this species that olive oil is produced. Today, countries like Spain, Tunisia, Italy and Greece, are responsible for the production of most of the olive oil consumed in the whole world. The historical facts, the customs of each of these civilizations and the passing of the centuries have demonstrated to us the reasons for this production, which, nowadays, is around 2.3 million tons per year.

The Olea Europaea variety is one of the over 30 species of the genus Olea. In turn, Olea Europaea was originally divided into groups: Olea var. sylvestris or oleaster and Olea var. sativa or communis, the first group being designated wild olive trees, and the latter, cultivated. It is known that the Olea Europaea covers over 2,000 varieties, which leads us to believe that few species of fruits possess so many varieties and consequently so many fruit juice possibilities!

Despite the existence of innumerable archaeo-botanical researches, doubts arise as to whether oleaster is the truly wild type of olive tree, or if it had been cultivated or it was an independent sub-species. The fact is that, morphologically, the truly wild olive tree is not distinguished from the present cultivated olive trees. However, as this discussion is of a strictly botanical character, nowadays, the usual designation, which names the cultivated olive trees Olea Europaea var. sativa is valid for reference purposes.