The olive is one of the oldest known cultivated fruits; cultivation of what had been wild olive trees predates recorded history and probably began on the Greek peninsula of Attica. In the early 18th century, Spanish explorers brought olive cuttings to Peru, from where they were carried to Mexico by Franciscan monks, y A source of monounsaturated fat
who later brought them to California.
The cultivated olive tree is a long-lived evergreen that requires a mild climate with warm summers and relatively cold winters. Its relative drought resistance has enabled it to thrive in the Mediterranean climate and in California. Olive trees bloom in May, producing delicate cream-colored flowers, and the fruit is harvested from early autumn to winter. The Mediterranean countries account for 95 percent of the world's olive cultivation.
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