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Olive Oil from Portugal

The production of olive oil is an ancestral tradition and in the Mediterranean basin its mastery dates back to 3000 BC.

In Portugal, the olive tree plantations can be traced back to the "Visigothic Code" of 506 AD, which punished anyone who pulled up an olive tree that did not belong to them. 

However, it was the Arabs, when conquering the Iberian Peninsula in the 6th century, that expanded the olive culture and plantations in this country. They perfected the techniques of production and extraction of olive oil and placed the olive tree above all other trees in terms of value.

The word "azeite" (olive oil) has its origin in the Arab vocabulary - az-zait which means olive juice, demonstrating yet again the ancestral influence of the Arab people on the cultivation of olives.

In 1555 the consumption of olive oil increased significantly when it became frequently used as a means of illumination. The growing of olives increased considerably in all areas of the country, and grew in economic and social importance when Portugal started selling large amounts of olive oil both in the kingdom as well as to other North European markets as well as its Overseas Territories, notably India.
Olive Oil had also an important role in religion as the "sacred Oil", fundamental in the economy of various convents and monasteries.

Thus, we can say the olive oil has always had an important role in the economy of the country, and has been present in the lives of the Portuguese people. This explains why there has been a constant and significant investment in plantations,  in their modernization and a continuous improvement in the harvesting and oil extraction processes. In Portugal we find a mix of the millenial cultivation of olives with technological innovation, which allows us to produce more and better maintaining our traditions.

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