Olive oil – the nectar of modern Greece

One of the fondest memories of my childhood is the taste of olive oil. The “snack” of the poverty stricken Greek children was a slice of bread covered with a thin layer of olive oil and dusted with oregano and salt.  Things have changed a lot since the ‘60s but olive oil remains one of the favourite elements of all Greek recipes and with good reason. A simple tomato salad acquires special nutritional value – leave alone the exquisite taste…- by the simple addition of olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano.

The richer we Greeks got the more we forgot the elements that give our tradition a special place: simplicity and austerity. Traditional recipes became repulsive to the young (they are always the least spoiled) because they were drenched in olive oil. Junk food peacefully invaded our society and like all novelties became fashionable. The trend is receding and greek people and especially the Greek youth are going back to their roots and re-discovering how tasty and filling the original food stuffs can be.

I have successfully replaced butter with olive oil in many recipes thus reducing their calorie count as well.  I do not know how easy it is to get Greek olive oil abroad but I suppose you can find out. Try it with some of your recipes and you will remember my words. Apparently, the best is being exported but look  out for the word” Virgin olive oil” – the cold pressed one is the best.