OLIVE-TREE AND OLIVE
There are growing more than 25 millions olive-trees in Crete, about one fifth of all olive-trees in Greece. Very often the trees are hundreds of years old, an olive-tree is an investment for the future. The first fruits are appearing after twelve years, remarkable results can be reached after forty years. But on the other hand after two, three hundred years still up to 300 Kilos can be harvested each year.
Meanwhile there are as well hybrid-growings, which produce remarkable results after three or four years, but they have also big disadvantages: they have to be watered and they never reach the results of the old, traditional trees.
Long ago not all the fruits are been harvested, some groves run to seed, because of the lack of working power or because manpower is too expansive. Although the olive-tree is an ideal completion to tourism-business: when the last tourists leave end of October, beginning of November the work in the groves is starting. When the first foreigners are coming back in April, the harvest is finished.
For the harvest first the ground underneath the trees has to be cleaned, then the big nets can be placed there. The ripe olives are hidden down with long sticks and after that collected, mostly by women. After the harvest a small part goes into glasses together with salt water, the biggest part will be pressed to high quality cold pressed virgin oil. This is done in the little private factories, which nearly every village has one of them.
AS ZEUS CAME DOWN TO EARTH
Once a day the father of god came down to earth to watch, how charity is going on. He was disguised as a beggar and went from door to door. But unfortunately he was rejected everywhere. Step by step he became more despairing and wanted to give up.
All at a sudden he saw a small house, there he wanted to try his luck for a last time. He was knocking at the door and an old couple opened, welcoming him very friendly and warmly. The two old folks gave him everthing he was asking for and offered him even their own bed for the night.
Zeus was very pleased about their hospitality and bold conception. At the next day he decided to tell them, who he is and gave them one wish to be fulfilled. But the old people were satisfied and happy with their simple life and did not mention any wish.
But Zeus did not want to leave without fulfilling them one wish. So the old folks said, that there will come the day, when they have to die and their one and only wish would be to die together in peace. So the day came and they fell asleep entangled. And it is said, that at this place the first olive-tree had been growing.
If you take a closer look, maybe you still can see them...
FOR ONE LITER OLIVE OIL it needs 2.000 to 2.500 olives or 4 to 5 Kilos.
To get the oil there are two different kinds of procedures.
At the modern extraction-procedure the olives are been grained and sprayed with chemicals, which soak out the oil. Very rich results make this oil cheap, it is longer imperishable and has a neutral smell.
At the traditional method there are existing to ways:
hot pressing: the grained olives are heated and pressed with high pressure. Better and best quality of oil is been reached with cold pressing, pressure is much lower and the heating stops at 50 degrees Celsius. This oil has not to be refined , keeps its genuine smell, taste and fat substances and is the highly recommended and most healthy oil, although it is not that long imperishable and much more expansive.