First, it's yuh-um!
According to the Institute of Food Technologists, the olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin--oil was produced as early as 4000 years BC.
Olives are shaken out of the trees with special vibrations.
Spain is the largest olive oil producer--followed by Italy and Greece. It is also produced in AZ, TX, GA, FL, OR, and HI.
A range of types of olives are used to produce oils of different flavors.
The term"virgin" means produced with no chemicals.
Extra virgin is the highest quality--followed by virgin, refined, and olive pomace oil.
Pomace and vegetative water--coproducts of production--are being explored as foods and cosmetic ingredients.
A while back, I was invited on a press trip to Majorca off the coast of Spain to a conference on olive oil. The dinners and buffets featured a staggering array of olives of every type. Platter after platter--every color imaginable.
Consuming the polyphenols and other factors in olive oil has been credited with helping prevent breast and other cancers.
This is making me hungry.