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Olive oil farming dates back to the 8th century in Tunisia. The olive oil tree was first brought to North Africa by the Phoenicians. When proto-Greeks lived in the Greek peninsula, this type of farming was in full force in North Africa. Olive producers soon saw their product flourish, which brought many great advantages to these farmers.

olive oil and olives

It is said that Hannibal had his soldiers plant olive oil groves. In fact, you can still see the first tree that was planted by these soldiers 2,500 years ago. It is located at El Haouaria on the peninsula of Cap Bon. This tree is the oldest olive oil tree in the world.

Some of the best farmers from the Mediterranean Basin were the Carthaginian/Punic agronomist who was proud of their olive oil orchards.

Romans then grew the orchards which helped to revolutionize the olive oil rearing practice. Innovative irrigation systems were utilized and olive oil extractions were developed. Over time, it grew even more, making Tunisia prosper. Monuments, palaces, villas, cities, an amphitheater, and aqueducts were constructed. Olive oil farming spread over Tunisia after archaeological digs were completed in Sbeitla and El Jem, as well as the finding of Sousse’s Roman mosaics.

Over time, olive oil began to become popular due to many of its amazing health benefits. As opposed to vegetable oil and certain other fats, that can harm you (studies have shown that vegetable oil can decrease your testosterone levels for example), Olive oil has many known benefits. It is common practice to rub this miracle oil over the muscles, as many athletes do. Many ladies have found that massaging this oil onto the skin, it makes it stronger. It has also been used for cosmetic purposes, and the juice of the olive can be used to stimulate hair follicles for those that are going bald.


Fast Growing Market

Tunisia is known as a distinguished and fastest growing market on the globe for olive oil. The country has the reputation for providing high-quality oil, which shows through the reputable medals they have won. Other organic products besides olive oil that Tunisia produces include oranges, wheat, pomegranate, dates, honey, and figs.

One-third of the country is filled with olive oil groves. One reason for this is most likely the perfect climate Tunisia has. The sun and aridity cultivate the ideal farming conditions for an olive oil grove. The residual pulp is used to fertilize the area that produces these trees.

Olive oil is a coveted valuable that many use for culinary dishes. Many home cures use olive oil in them, and it is not unusual for medicines or cosmetics to use this oil in them. It is attributed to this oil that those in the Mediterranean have long life spans due to the consumption of high levels of this amazing oil. It is a staple in many homes for various reasons. In fact, you can find many family-owned groves that use traditional extraction techniques to produce extra virgin olive oil.


A Food Staple For Thousands of Years

Olive oil is linked to Tunisia’s strong culture, food, customs, seasons, economy, and rhythms. This oil has provided many noteworthy benefits across the globe during different times. Think about a time when you had a tender steak drizzled with olive oil or bread dipped in a seasoned olive oil mixture. Perhaps you have had a salad with a light olive oil dressing? This provides an insight into Tunisia’s olive oil-acclaimed history. The Roman empire and other ancient cultures used this remarkable oil as a culinary object in their everyday lives.

Olive oil history today is as diverse as its vivid flavor. With a bevy of types that will tantalize the tastebuds, you can rest assured that the most refined olive oils were produced by Tunisian families farming the glorious land of the nation.


Remarkable Tunisian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Multiple noteworthy awards have been given for the high quality of Tunisia’s extra-virgin olive oils. The nation’s country has won gold medals from all across the globe, including London, New York, Los Angeles, Italy, Japan, and Athens.

In December of 2021, the EXTRAGOLD medal was awarded to this country at Italy’s Biol Novello competition. This well-known global event brings over 30 taste testers with hundreds of oil olive farmers from across the world. The competition took place between 30 countries, with Tunisia being the only Arab nation to win this remarkable honor.


Manufacturing Tunisian Olive Oil

Tunisian olive oil can be set apart from other countries’ oil. Not only does it have a light and delicate texture, but it is buttery in taste. It also has a nutritional profile. As the olive trees are grown with chemicals, pesticides, or artificial agents, the oil is an organic product. Consumers can be guaranteed this through the organic certification process.

Olives are harvested right from the tree. They will only be picked by hand if they are healthy looking. By picking by hand, olives are saved from damage that equipment may do. As soon as they are harvested, they are taken to the mill.

The olives are crushed by hand to extract their oil once they are sorted, cleaned, and washed. It is standard practice to crush the olives within a few hours after picking.


Wrap Up

Olive oil from Tunisia will be some of the most flavorful oil you can find. Use it in dips, salads, and cooking as part of a healthy diet. A bottle of this fruit oil makes a wonderful gift for any occasion.


About Olivia Marsh

Olivia Marsh - Author - Professional chef and Travel enthusiast.
Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate. Chef Marsh has traveled the globe from France, Italy, Germany to China, Thailand, India, Tunisia and more.
Olivia lived in Tunisia for almost 10 years now.
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