The Messinian olive tree
The wild olive tree has been present in the Mediterranean region for thousands of years. In Messinia, it is still unknown when exactly the inhabitants started to use it, although the earliest olive tree cultivation dates back to the prehistoric era. In the palace of Nestor, in ancient Pylos, was discovered one of the earliest depictions of olive oil. This reveals the assimilation of the olives in the nutritional habits of Messinians.
As the years pass, the information we gather on the usage of olive oil gets more specific. Olive oil is being used in different parts of everyday life: cooking, perfumery, healing rituals. The expansion of olive tree cultivation is a fact and it becomes the main occupation of the inhabitants. Reliable sources report an important olive oil production in Messinia during the Byzantine Era. During the Turkish domination, in Koroni - Methoni the economy expands due to the growth of oil trade and exportations. In Kalamata also, in the early 20th century, exportations reached 6.000 barrels. All this expansion reaches to an end when Ibrahim is ordered to set fire to the Messinian olive grove, during the War of Independence against the Turks.
In 1830, after the establishment of the new Greek state, lows are adopted, in order to stimulate the interest in olive tree cultivation. In the 19th century, Kalamata becomes a major urban trade centre and port of export (exports to Italy, France etc) due to the increased volume of oil production. The new oil industry emerges next to the traditional oil mill.
The Messinians seek to internationally promote the perpetual importance of their two land products, olive and olive oil in health and nutrition, not only through the commercial path but through cultural paths as well e.g. The Cultural Tour, The Routes of the Olive tree, promoted by the Messinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The golden olive oil!
Koroni olive oil
Intense fruity flavour and lasting and full - bodied aftertaste
Moderate to intense sensation of bitterness and pungency
Pungency overpowers bitterness.
With no addition of complex aromas, it gives a pleasant scent and
the flavour character of green leaves gives it rich freshness.
Tasted like wine, such oil would be described as
Nose of fresh olive fruit, green apple, fresh almond, refined fruity mouth-feel and bitter aftertaste, typical of an excellent olive oil due to the intense presence of anti – oxidants.