The "liquid gold", as Homer called it, is a key nutritional component of the Mediterranean diet. The healing properties of Kos' olive oil were soon recognised by Hippocrates, who first highlighted the power of mother nature and established the foundations of modern medicine. Offered in a wide spectrum of aromas and flavours, the extra virgin olive oil of Kos is fairly nutritious, has been long associated with longevity and constitutes an essential ingredient when it comes to skin and hair treatments.
Αpart from beneficial fatty acids, it contains amounts of vitamins E and K, powerful antioxidants and shows strong anti-Inflammatory effects. Needless to say, Hippocrates himself, who is considered an outstanding medical figure in all of human history, used the olive oil to heal wounds and treat illnesses.
Olives, the tree’s actual fruit, often appear in restaurants as a welcome treat, an appetiser, a drink compliment or a salad ingredient. An indigenous olive variety worth seeking out and savouring is hamades, a mature variety with a characteristic taste. During harvest season, hamades are usually immediately salted and consumed because they are already ripe enough.
Visitors to Kos can visit olive oil bottling units, take a closer look at how olives are processed to create high quality extra virgin olive oil and find out about the bottling process. Kos’ extra virgin olive oil is used to create a plethora of organic products. From organic cosmetics based on olive oil and dittany, to the classic green soaps, all olive and olive oil products are widely offered in the local market and grocery stores of Kos, as an easy-to-travel-with souvenir.
Olive trees have been cultivated for many centuries in the Greek land. According to Greek archeologist Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos’ research, the cultivation of olive trees on the Greek terrain first began in Crete, 3,500 years ago.
Green olives contain a higher percentage of olive oil, which is noticeable in their taste (and bitterness), and are kept in brine for a longer time. Black olives, on the other hand, need a softer brine and are mainly used for making olive paste, oil bread, pizzas, pies, salads, etc.