The olive tree is one of the ancient trees of the Mediterranean area. It reigns for years, under the greek sun on its silvergold laurel, as a symbol of peace, victory, serenity, fertility, immortality and prosperity. Recent archaeological researches at the Greek Cyclades, brought to the light fossilized olive leaves aged about 50,000 - 60,000 years!
It was considered as a sacred symbol, when Goddess Athena offered the olive tree as a gift to the city of Athens and thenceforward she has been the patroness of Athens. The olive fruit is empowered by the Goddess wisdom. Every year, with her guidance, follows the same arduous journey, turning into olive oil. Likewise, Goddess helped Odysseus to complete his return journey-nostos to his homeland, Ithaca.
The fruits of wisdom are hosted and flourished by the maternal tree, as Nymph Calypso affectionately cared for Odysseus. Then, Athena intervened to Zeus to persuade the Nymph to let Odysseus go and continue his journey back home. Similarly, every year, on November, the olive’s adventure sails off its golden journey.
The olive’s harvest is one of the most significant agricultural activities in the Mediterranean area for centuries. Harvesting used to be called «liomazoma». Traditionally, the olives are harvested with hands.
The olives fall on the ground and are collected in the so called «liopano», a specially designed net. Ritual, the olive harvest brings joy to the growers, in contrast with the grief Odysseus felt, when he saw his companions losing their lives from the hands of the Cyclope Polyphemus.
Once harvested, the olives are delivered to the olive-oil mill and with a powerful air blower are separated from leaves. And then, Goddess Athena close the way to all winds, leaving only one, the favorable north and sent shipwrecked Odysseus towards the coast of Scheria. The Princess of Phaeacia, Nausicaa, leads Odysseus to the palace, clean and beautiful. Once cleaned, olives are washed with water revealing their beauty.
Since ancient times, people have invented millstones for the extraction of olive oil. The washed olives are carried to a special mechanical hammermill. Once Odysseus realized the great danger of Charubdi, he opted to pass by Scylla’s rock, losing six companions.
Once olives crushed, a olive paste of water and solid components occurs. After malaxing the paste, it is passed to a press seperating the oil from the rest of the vegetable water and solids. The oil, as a lighter ingredient, is seperated successfully.
Successfully, Odysseus ended his journey, arriving at last in Ithaca. His wife, Penelope recognized him, only when he, through a riddle, revealed to her that their bed was carved into a olive tree, deeply rooted in the ground. Odysseus gained back his name and reassert his place as a rightful king of Ithaca.
Extra virgin olive oil ΙΘΑΚΗ is ready to offer all its beauty, health and well being to everyone who prefers it. Its beneficial and nutritious features will travel around the world treasured into a small bottle.