Was Olive Oil the First Gift Ever Given?

Sadly…no, but olive oil gifts are not a new idea.

According to legend, the city of Athens earned its name because of an olive tree. When the gods could not decide who the city belonged to, the king of the city held a contest seeing which god could bestow the best gift. After creating the olive tree and gifting it to the city, the goddess Athena was chosen as the victor. The Athenians prided themselves on their wisdom, and in their wisdom, saw many benefits of olive oil and the olive tree. The tree provided olives to eat, shade to sit under, and leaves to preserve food, while the oil was useful for improved health and enhanced cooking. This gift became the first instance of award winning olive oil, but it would not be the last.

Even after several millennia, olive oils are still being given as gifts and winning awards.  Pasolivo’s very own extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) have a long award winning history. In fact, all five of our current extra virgin olive oils— Cucina, Classic, California, Tuscan and Il Singolo— won Gold Medals at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition 2021! This makes our oil not only one of the Best Olive Oils from California, but also one of the Best Olive Oils in the World!

Ok, we’ve established that these are award winning olive oils, but does that make them a good gift?

Think back to the best gift you have ever received.  Got it in your mind? Now I would bet that it had all three of these qualities: it had value; it improved your life in some way; and it showed that the person giving it to you really knew and understood you.

So, since high grade olive oil has all of these qualities, it’s no wonder Athena thought that olive oil gifts were a great idea.

Let’s talk about value. What makes some olive oils more valuable than others? True value starts at the very beginning. When the trees are planted according to design, carefully interspersing certain varieties in order to cross-pollinate, this produces more abundant and higher quality fruit.  Then when harvest time comes, a hand-picked olive has much less bruising which protects the flavor of the olive oil.

For the best single estate olive oil, the olives are picked, milled and processed by the same company in the same location.  The reason this adds to the value is that the olives don’t need to travel long distances between the harvest and the milling stages and can therefore stay on the trees until they reach the ideal level of ripeness.  The lack of long distance travel also decreases the bruising, which in turn, enhances the flavor creating a fresh olive oil full of flavor.

When it comes to the milling of the oil, an extra virgin olive oil is first cold pressed olive oil.  This means that no extra heat or chemicals can be added to the process when milling.  First cold pressed olive oil takes much longer and requires more intense labor but is necessary when it comes to creating the best extra virgin olive oils.

Pasolivo checks all of these boxes. Our olive oils are single estate, hand picked, first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil which means that Pasolivo Olive Oil is has an extremely high value.  High value = Great Gift!

The second quality that makes a gift special is that it in some way improves your life.  Now this could be emotional – the gift makes you happy.  Many people would put food items at the top of the list when it comes to bringing happiness to life.  But, to truly improve your life, wouldn’t it be great if the food item not only brought happiness, but also increased your health at the same time?

This is true of Pasolivo extra virgin olive oil.  It’s so great to know that we can all have the joy that comes from the burst of flavor when it hits the tongue, all the while knowing that we have created one of the highest polyphenol olive oils in order to promote cardiovascular health as well.  Improved Life = Great Gift!

How about the third quality?  Really knowing someone and knowing what they would like takes work.  Putting in this work takes time and effort and is obvious to the recipient, which makes the gift more special.

Knowing how much work it takes to find the perfect gift, Pasolivo strives to constantly have an expansive line of oils, each with its own flavor profile.  These include: Cucina, Classic, California, Tuscan, Basil, Rosemary, Garlic, Garlic Lemon, Lemon, Citrus, Tangerine, Lime, Cilantro Lime, and Red Jalapeño.

So, the challenge for all of us now is to try each one of these amazing California olive oils with our friends and find out which ones are their favorites.  Being Known and Understood = Great Gift!

At Pasolivo, our desire is that you, just like the people of ancient Athens will be blessed by olive oil gifts and the people who give them!

 

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