” The place, people, climate and culture that produce them – are far more important than the actual cooking ”  – Suitcase Mag

You will hear me say this over and over again, the best way to learn about different cultures around the world is through food. Why? Well because through food you can learn about a countries history, it’s people and land. I was recently invited to an event about Greek olives called Olive you and learned so much about olives and Greece! Olive trees are some of the oldest trees ever harvested by humans, a practice that dates back more than 8,000 years. The indigenous olive tree first appeared in the eastern Mediterranean but it was in Greece that it was first cultivated. The Olive You campaign is funded by the European Union and the PEMETE (Panhellenic Association Of Table Olives Processors, Packers, And Exporters) with the purpose of educating people in the U.S. about the different types of Greek table olives and the various regions they come from. Did you know Greece, despite the fact that it is a small country in magnitude, stands in the 3rd position in the world in the olive oil production, after Spain and Italy?

During the event, we also discussed the health benefits of Olives. Unbeknown to me, Olives are a great anti-inflammatory fruit and anti-cancer. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of olives make them a natural for protection against cancer because chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can be key factors in the development of cancer.  I’m really happy to see the EU support programs like these all over the world – because of it, I learned more about Olives at this event than ever before!

Event Location: Fig and Olive, Meatpacking, New York