Tradition and a deep one at that!
Greek „Paradosi“ [Pa-ra-dosi] („tradition ” Tradition describes a group's beliefs and behaviours that are passed down from one generation to another.
Over 7000 years of history and tradition circulate the Olive tree and it's stories in Greece, all the way from the Minoans to todays Greek families, the olive tree is worshipped almost like a God.
Endless accounts of olive trees exist in Greek mythology, but we won't bore you with all, perhaps the most famous one that surprises people is the story of the capital of Greece Athens!
Legend has it that when Athens was built and the patron God was to be decided, the Athenians held a pitch!
The God that gave the citizens the most precious, useful and divine gift, would receive the honor of the city carrying his or her name.
Poseidon struck his trident in the ground and a constant salty water stream formed!
This didn't really impress the Athenians, I mean, Salty water?
So when goddess Athena came along and struck her spear on a rock an olive tree sprouted, a tree that would offer shade, endure the long Greek peninsula summers, but also harsh winters, it would bear fruit you could eat, or fruit you could squash and use its juices for cooking many dishes and not only, the olive oil would take centre stage in every aspect of the Greek lifestyle.
Needless to say who won the competition!
Hippocrates himself mentions at least 60 olive oil based ailments. The ancient Greek athletes used to rub themselves in olive oil, and even to this day when children are born, it is customary to bring olive oil as a gift.
In modern religion in Greece children are baptised by being soaked in olive oil!
I think you get our point, Olive oil in Greece is not just instilled in our cuisine, it is part of the Greek soul, it has been the main trading product for thousands of years, it has raised families and even provided for families to excel in other parts of life, it is a currency, and one that we Greeks take very seriously!