In this Turkish Cuisine video, Andrea Flurescu talks about Olives and Olive Oil.
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Andreea Flurescu Talks about Olives and Olive Oil
Janine: Olives and olive oil have an important place in the Turkish culture. And because olives are staple of Turkish practice, our research crew went on a quest to find an expert on this subject. Andreea Flurescu represented Turkey at the international festival in Orlando Florida where she spoken great detail about olives and olive oil. Let’s go hear what she had to say.
Andreea: Before I go into details about olive oil per se, I would like to just talk a little bit about the olives tree history and geography and trade. The olive tree originated in Asia Minor which is modern Turkey Syria and Palestine. It was cultivated 6000 years ago according to our records and the oldest olive oil process from 1000 B.C it was find in Palestine so it is 3000 years old. We’ve been eating olives and olive oil for many, many thousands of years.
Nowadays, we see olive trees growing in Australia, Japan, even the United States where Christopher Columbus brought the trees but still 90% of olive production comes from seven countries on Mediterranean. Actually Turkey is the number five tough producer in the world for olive oil and it’s only producing at one quarter of its capacity. And the industry is fast, it’s growing very fast so you can imagine Turkey will become a leader even more of a leader in olive production.
Olive trees have very old history, have been with us a long time and it’s interesting they’re showing every world mythology. They are symbol of immortality, of peace. As we probably know the olive branch with the dove and they even show up in the Bible where Noah is supposed to have sent a dove out of his arc to see if the flood was over. The dove came back with an olive branch and Noah stopped in what is known today as Mount Ararat in Turkey.
There are 688 types of known olive trees so that means there are that many types of olives and they can vary by color, by shape, by sizes as you can see here. Those in the far corner, the black olives are really the way they are traditionally served in Turkey. Olives when they are unripe, they are green and then the riper they get, they get darker. These here are the pinkish kind of greenish olives are actually the type of olives that you would make olive oil from. There are 85 million olive trees in Turkey and it’s an estimated 250,000 families involved in growing, producing olives, producing olive oil. So, you can imagine it’s a very important industry for Turkey.
Olive oil has been known for years and years for its health benefits. So, actually there’s a Middle East proverb that says that olive oil will cure every illness except for the one that you’re going to die of. So, use olive oil a lot in your daily cuisine. Eat a lot of olives, it’s definitely good, eat olives. Turkish olives are usually pickled with all different kind of flavors. They are really delicious. So do that, go to you local store, buy olives, buy olive oil and use it in every dish, in every meal if you can. Also Turkish cuisine is extremely healthy, so try recipes at home or visit a Turkish restaurant and see it’s both delicious and it’s very good for you as well.