Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Amazing Olive Tree: Food and the Table, Too

Most people know that olives grow on trees and we all enjoy eating olives and using olive oil in our cooking, but not so many know that the olive tree is also perfect for furniture-making.
Olives are very versatile and can be used in many ways, even when they are overripe. Here is a look at how the amazing olive tree is a source of food and furniture, all in one.

The olive tree

The table olive is considered to be the most prized asset from the tree and the fruit’s flesh can also be pressed to make some delicious olive oil. In addition to this, the olive tree itself is considered to be an excellent material for furniture-making.

The tree itself often displays great character with a slightly twisted trunk and grey-green leaves and the wood is perfectly suitable for carving and making some unique furniture, such as a table which you can then serve your olives on.

Rich history

When you serve your guests garlic stuffed olives at a dinner party, take a moment to consider the rich history of the olive, which has been offered as a food since 3,500 B.C, when the people on the island of Crete learned the secrets of making olives edible.

The olive trees fragrant wood was even reserved exclusively for altars to the Gods in ancient times, helping it to become a symbol of peace at the same time. The olive has been recorded throughout history with various uses and in 1870, it achieved new levels of notoriety, when a bartender in California added an olive to a new concoction that he named the Martinez after his home town, giving birth to the now famous martini cocktail that people order at bars all across the world.

Olive tree wood

The wood from an olive tree is smooth and strong, allowing it to be used in a variety of applications. You will find items such as furniture including tables and cabinets, musical instruments, bowls and carved objects.

The small pruned branches from the olive tree are also used as they are highly prized for crafting smoking pipes and delicate objects of art.

Olive wood is oily and richly textured and displays a deep golden color, fine grained hardwood with accents of black streaks or swirls, making it a highly distinctive material in which to create an individual item of furniture that will be truly unique.

Whether you are a cabinet maker who covets the richly grained hardwood of the olive tree or a real foodie who loves the unique taste and health benefits of olives and olive oil, you are part of the latest generation to appreciate and enjoy this fruit that has such a long and distinguished history.

The next time you drizzle your garlic infused olive oil over your food or serve a bowl of stuffed olives as a tasty and healthy snack, take a moment to think about the history and diversity of this much-loved product.

Charles Talley is a self-sustaining farmer who lives off the grid. He likes to relax by sharing what he has learned on a variety of blog sites.

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