Olives November 24 2015
The Latin name for the olive tree is Olea Europa. Although there is fossil evidence that wild olive trees have existed in Provence since prehistoric times (8000 BC), the cultivation of domestic olive trees was introduced into present-day Provence by the ancient Greeks (and more specifically the Phocians, the founders of Marseille) around the 6th century BC. The cultivation and exploitation of olives was expanded during the Roman era and has continued to the present day.
When you are in Provence, you will be surrounded by olives, in all three of their naturally occurring states: solid, liquid and tree. Almost everything you eat will contain, be cooked in, or be accompanied by: olives. In the markets you will see gorgeous displays of beautiful, delicious olives of all colors, races and religions. On the hills and slopes you will see terraces of silvery-green olive trees that are hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of years old. You will dip your bread in olive oil, and spread olive "tapenade" on it. If you stay in Provence long enough, you will find yourself tasting, appreciating, comparing and thinking about olive oils the same way many people taste, appreciate and compare wines.
Click on the link below to see some tablecloths with olive motifs. These tablecloths remind us of the ancient linkage between olives and Provence.