24 May

The Sheer Versatility of Olive Oil

There can't be many foods whose names have been used as a cartoon character. Olive Oyl is, of course, the girl friend of Popeye the sailor. He may seem a little bit dated these days, but it shows the awareness of olives and their oil in earlier times.

Olive oil is indeed a very versatile food substance. The olive is essentially a fruit and a very healthy one too. The oil derived from the olive can be used for cooking, to make soap, to supply light, in the form of oil for a lamp, and it is even used in the pharaceutical and cosmetics industries.

About 5% of the world's olive production comes from outside the Mediterranean basin. That means that the vast majority of olives come from the warm Mediterranean countries. Spain is the world leader in olive oil production, followed closely by countries such as Italy, Turkey and Greece.

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