The olive tree has served many purposed in various cultures. In ancient Greece, olive twigs were used to honour soldiers. Romans considered the olive tree sacred that anyone found to be cutting it sentenced to death or exiled.
In Lebanon’s Baalbek temples, the olive oil is offered to the gods after a good harvest. While it is unclear where exactly the origin of the olive tree is, some theories suggest it first grew along the coasts of Lebanon. Their oil is known to have been used in the Middle East for at least 8,000 years.
The sixteen ancient olive trees in Lebanon known as “The Sisters” are thought to be as old as 6,000 years, making them among the world’s oldest living trees that still bear fruit. A Millennia ago, Phoenician traders spread the olive tree around the Mediterranean. But while other countries in the region produce the majority of the world’s olive oil today, the olive remains at the heart of Lebanese culture, with its oil being indispensable to Lebanese cuisine.
Lebanon’s topography, climate and soil fertility make it ideal to grow superior varieties of olive trees. Lebanon’s landscape is dominated by olive groves in six major regions – Batroun, Koura, Zgharta, Akkar, Rashaya El Foukhar and Hasbaya. The northern region accounts for 41% of the olive oil produced in the country. This region is also known to produce the highest quality of olives.
This is where we get our olives from!