Greek cuisine is very simple: we believe that food should be served as close to its natural state as possible. We do not like to use complicated sauces or heavy dressings. Olive oil is our main ingredient in roasting, frying, grilling or boiling foods. You might know that Greece is the world’s third largest producer of olive oil and the world’s largest exporter of extra virgin olive oil. We, Greek people, eat an average of 26 liters of olive oil each every year!
We all know how healthy olive oil is to your body, but this blog is not about the consuming nutrition of it. This blog is about using olive oil in unusual ways.
Raw As a Preservative.
We use olive oil to preserve all sorts of traditional delicacies: cheese, meat, olives, fish, etc. Olive oil preservation makes certain cheeses, such as feta, more toothsome, crisper, nuttier. Olive oil helps vegetables form a kind of seal on top, which helps prevent oxidation.
Of course we all know that olives are often kept in olive oil. The olive oil changes their texture from crunchy to tender.
Meat and fish are also preserved in olive oil as well. In some parts of Greece, local cooks preserve their cured pork and fresh anchovies in olive oil. They make for one of the best mezethes.
«Lathera», which means «oiled» vegetable dish, is the whole category of dishes eaten during periods of fasting, when meat and dairy products are forbidden from the diet.
Sweets Made with Olive Oil.
We also boast sweets made with olive oil. Yes, you read it right! These types of sweets are oil-based stews and contain pastries filled with nuts, rice, raisins, where the layers of phyllo are lubricated not with butter but with oil.
Olive Oil and Beauty.
You likely have olive oil in your kitchen, but did you know it has some amazing benefits for your hair, skin and nails? Olive oil, which is derived from olives found in the Mediterranean, is hypoallergenic and contains antioxidants like vitamin E to renew your skin’s appearance and combat signs of aging. Olive oil applied to your skin deeply moisturizes and doesn’t clog pores. It is great for infusing life back into your hair by massaging a small amount of extra virgin olive oil into the tips of hair. The cuticles and hands are often the first to dry out, so massaging a small amount of olive oil into the nails and hands is a great way to keep them looking youthful and taken care of.
We hope you enjoy learning all these fascinating things about olive oil. It’s time to become the olive oil advocate!