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Olive oil is quintessentially Greek. Its story in Messenia is as old as Greece itself. For us, olive oil has been an adorned element of our social, cultural and economic life for 5,000 years. Greece has been celebrated as one of the first regions where olive cultivation took place and Messenia has been a pioneer in it. Messenia has been renown for producing great olive oil ever since. Its excellent quality is even recognised and protected by the European Union by the Kalamata PDO-status (Kalamata Protected Designation of Origin).
The enduring olive legacy has been inextricably interwoven in our culture. Here in Messenia, olive cultivation has always marked the authentic way of life. The olive tree and its cherished olive oil have been reigning in our lives and those of our forefathers before us. Thus, they are both the everlasting icons of our age-old heritage. A good example of this is the 6th century BCE amphora (container) depicted here.
Messenia's timeless tradition in oliviculture has been well-documented by research and archaeological excavations. At Nestor's palace, the legendary king of Pylos whose adventures in the Trojan War were sung by Homer, evidence of the olive oil's early importance has been unearthed. In the ancient royal archives, experts uncovered some of the earliest recorded information about the production and trade of the olive oil in Greece. Those records, consisting of clay tablets, shed light on the early olive oil trade across the Mediterranean. For good reasons, Messenian olive oil was considered a highly valued luxury good that was sought after across many nations.
Now OLIVE LEGACY brings this liquid gold straight to your table.
Men harvesting olives (amphora from the 6th century BCE). Photo: Photo Scala, Florence.