Olives were more than likely first domesticated in the Mediterranean basin some 6,000 years ago. It is thought that oil from the olive was one of several attributes that likely made the bitter fruit attractive enough to result in its domestication. However, the production of olive oil, the deliberate pressing of oil out of olives, is currently documented no earlier than 2500 BC.
Olive oil was used for variety of purposes, including lamp fuel, pharmaceutical ointment and in rituals for anointing royalty, warriors and others. The term "messiah", used in many Mediterranean based religions, means "the anointed one", perhaps, but of course, not necessarily referring to an olive oil based ritual. Cooking with olive oil may not have been a purpose for the original domesticators, but it began at least as long ago as the 5th-4th century BC, as described by Plato.
The Romans are responsible for bringing about a significant increase in olive oil production beginning between 200 BC and AD 200. Olive oil production became semi-industrialized at sites such as Hendek Kale in Turkey, Byzacena in Tunisia and Tripolitania, in Libya, where 750 separate olive oil production sites have been identified.
Production estimates of oil are up to 30 million liters (8 million gallons) per year from Tripolitania, and up to 40 million li (10.5 million gal) from Byzacena. Plutarch reports that Caesar forced Tripolitania's inhabitants to pay a tribute of 1 million li (250,000 gal) in 46 BC.
Oileries are also reported from the first and second centuries AD in the Guadalquivir valley of Andalusia in Spain, where average annual yields were estimated between 20 and 100 million li (5-26 million gal). Archaeological investigations at Monte Testaccio recovered evidence suggesting that Rome imported approximately 6.5 billion liters of olive oil over the period of 260 years.
Research Source: About
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Want some down home chow on your table? Then you have to try this Crunchy Turkey Casserole.
Crunchy Turkey Casserole
Copyrighted 2013, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup cooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 can French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil over medium heat, add ground turkey, salt, pepper, seasoned salt and garlic powder, crumble meat as it cooks, cook until no longer pink. Add onions, stir and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in pasta and cheese.
Spoon mixture into a greased 2 quart baking dish. Then add cream of mushroom soup, stir well.
Cover baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove baking dish, top with French fried onions. Cook another 5 minutes, uncovered. Enjoy!