Olives and Olive Oil in Turkey
Turkey is world renowned for producing natural, high-quality olives which form an essential component of Turkish breakfasts. Not only are olives tasty but they’re a source of incredible health benefits and vitality!
Harvesting olives has not changed over the centuries; still performed manually to maintain quality and flavor in their fruit. This allows us to ensure that every olive retains its true form when eaten.
Early Life and Education
Olives have long been an integral component of Turkish cuisine. From adding them to breakfast alongside white cheese and tomato to salads, bread or appetizers; olives play an integral role in every meal.
Near the end of autumn, thousands of families and factories prepare to harvest olives in Turkey – one of the world’s fourth-largest producers of this fruit and its oil.
Today, harvesting olives remains a labor of love for locals. Families come together to spend a day in the fields, often working for a daily wage in order to reach out for those olives out of reach. Olive production is expected to surpass two million tonnes for the first time ever this year!
Turkish olive oil is highly esteemed for its naturalness and quality, which make it highly sought-after among culinary circles around the world. Furthermore, Turkish olive oil offers many health benefits; its anti-oxidants and phenolic compounds protect against cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and cancer.
Olive harvesting is an integral part of life in Turkey each autumn, providing families with not only an income source but also the chance to bond while passing down traditional methods from one generation to the next.
Families that value olive trees take care to hire season workers to handpick olives rather than use modern machinery that could cause bruising, to prevent quality losses during ripening process and preserve flavour. Once harvested, olives should be quickly salted or dry cured so as not to alter taste or flavor.
Achievement and Honors
Turkey has long been known as an important producer of olive oil, an increasingly popular and nutritious product with numerous health benefits for humans and an important agricultural commodity with strong export potential.
Turkey’s most widely grown olive variety, Ayvalik, can be used both for oil production and as table olives with scratched surfaces. Gemlik varieties also are often grown commercially for table use as well as oil.
Olive oil producers take great pride in winning awards at the NYIOOC, one of the world’s premier olive oil quality competitions. NovaVera, Hermus and Genius Olive Oil are just three Turkish companies who have taken home awards at this competition.
Ayvalik, a coastal town on Lesbos Island off Greece, is famed for producing world-class olives that have won international acclaim. Every autumn, dedicated families work collaboratively to harvest these olives and create high-grade olive oil products.
As overseers of every aspect of this process, they oversee every decision regarding olive harvesting, pressing and packaging of their olive oil products – creating delectable yet nutritious oil that delights tastebuds while simultaneously supporting human wellbeing.
Salad dressing or drizzled over warm grain dishes, it can also be drizzled onto fresh vegetables such as eggplants, zucchinis and broad beans, roasted eggplants or zucchinis, or simply dip crusty bread into it along with some za’atar (an aromatic spice blend popular in Turkey and the Middle East comprising dried oregano, thyme, marjoram sumac and toasted sesame seeds) to enjoy one of the healthiest meals available!
Olives and olive oil play an integral role in Turkish culture. Every late summer, families across the country set out their ground mats on which they collect ripe olives before souring them with brine solution to soften the skins before pressing for high-grade olive oil production.
Turkey’s economy relies heavily on olive cultivation, and in recent years they have made great strides in producing top-grade table olives and oil, and strive to become an international player on the olive market.
Urla in Turkey’s Aegean region was an early and prominent export center for olive oil production and trading as early as 6th Century BC; Homer even mentioned dinner beneath an olive tree as part of his epic poem The Iliad!