Updated November 25th 2020
History Of Olive Oil
Fossil evidence indicates the olive tree had its origins some 20–40 million years ago in the Oligocene era. Evidence of the first olive cultivation has been found on the border between Turkey and Syria, in the period around 6000-8000 years ago
Inventory logs carried by ancient trading ships dating back to around 4,000 BCE contain the first written records of olive oil, which was transported through the Mediterranean area from one port to another. As far back as 3000 BC, olives were grown commercially in Crete and olive oil may well have been the source of the wealth of the Minoan civilization.
The first great expansion of olive cultivation seems to be around Greece and Egypt around 1,700 BCE. Around 1,000 BCE the Phoenicians are thought to have brought olives to Spain and Northern Africa.
The expansion of the Roman Empire in around 900 BCE was key to olive oil and its uses. The Roman Empire expanded its civilization throughout southern Europe and North Africa, bringing with it olive trees and olive oil to all conquered territories. As an important commodity, the Romans made many improvements in olive tree cultivation, olive oil extraction and storage and valued olive oil to such an extent that it was even accepted as payment for taxes. The decline of the Roman Empire in 500 A.D. brought with it a decrease in olive cultivation and a reduction in olive oil use.
Around 1,110 AD olive groves begin to flourish once again, particularly in Italy, thanks to the merchant class who discovered that selling olive oil in local markets was an important source of income.
Spanish colonists brought the olive to the New World in the 16th century where its cultivation prospered in present-day Peru and Chile. Around 1,800 AD, olive oil makes its commercial debut in the Americas as Italian and Greek immigrants demanded its import from Europe.
Where Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil Comes From: A Truly Unique Source
The story of Morocco Gold Extra Virgin olive oil arguably begins a long time ago – a very long time ago.
The Morocco Gold olive growing area is 180 kms and about 4 hours drive north east from Marrakesh. It is situated in a raised valley in the foothills of the magnificent Atlas mountains in the Azilal Province which is part of the Beni Mellal region. The area rarely sees many tourists or ‘outsiders’.
The geological history of this remote and unspoiled valley shows that it was formed in the early Jurassic period around 190 million years ago. It shows well preserved sediments and rocks of marine origin (called Lias) towards the valley sides and sediments alternating between shallow marine carbonates, continental silts and red sandstone from the Cretaceous era – around 145 – 66 million years ago towards the center of the valley.
The Cretaceous covers a period with a relatively warm climate, with sea level changes (known as tectono-eustatic oscillations) driven either by increases in the volumes of the oceans, or by the rising and falling of the land due to tectonic plate movements – a process that helped form the Atlas mountains themselves. The evidence strongly suggests that this valley was at one time underwater.
During the Cretaceous, new groups of mammals, birds as well as flowering plants appeared. The end of the Cretaceous is also defined by the abrupt mass extinction in which many dinosaurs and large marine reptiles died out. (Interestingly, another feature of the Azilal province is the preponderance of dinosaur fossils from this period).
Over time however, the layer upon layer of decomposed organic matter has contributed massively to the rich content of phenols in the local soil. This in turn contributes to the very high levels polyphenols found in olives now grown in the region, including in Morocco Gold Extra Virgin olive oil.
This raised valley is between two 1400m Atlas ranges with altitude varying between 700m and 900m along its 40kms. This creates its own micro-climate with temperatures generally 2c below the coastal plain in the daytime and 5c at night-time. These differences, combined with the naturally occurring nutrients in the soil create uniquely high-quality olive growing conditions for the Picholine Marocaine, the only type of olive used in Morocco Gold.
Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For health conscious, discerning food lovers across all cultures and culinary backgrounds, Morocco Gold is a natural, unfiltered, ultra-premium, polyphenol rich extra virgin olive oil. It’s exquisite taste and health enhancing qualities are guaranteed by our rigorous testing, provenance and authenticity, and strict adherence to single estate sourcing, with no blending or mixing. Morocco Gold is truly a unique source.
What is extra virgin olive oil good for : extra virgin olive oil uses
Incredibly versatile, Morocco Gold is one of the best extra virgin olive oils for cooking and salad dressing. High in polyphenols, Morocco Gold shows why extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on earth. It can also be used as an extra virgin olive oil for hair and as an extra virgin olive oil for skin. Find out ways you can use the Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil source in your day to day living.
Our gold award winning extra virgin olive oil represents the very best extra virgin olive oil.