June 1st is National Olive Day. While you’re celebrating the day with your olive pizza, your salad with olive oil dressing or just a bowl of round treats, check out these 20 fun facts about the fruit. (Yep, I said fruit)
- The olive is a vegetable, but a fruit.
- These trees are believed to have originated from the coast of Mediterranean Sea and Western Asia.
- The fruit can be green, purple, dark brown, black, and even pink in color.
- These fruit trees can reach 26 to 49 feet in height.
- Leaves on the trees are oval-shaped and elongated, with leathery, grayish green on the top and whitish on the bottom.
- Their trees only bloom white flowers after four years.
- The first harvest will happen after 15 years.
- Their trees are an alternate fruit bearing tree, which means one year it could produce much more fruit than the previous year.
- An olive tree can live up to 2,000 years.
- The average life of a tree is between 300 and 600 years.
- There are over 800 million trees planted worldwide.
- One of oldest olive trees in the world is on the island of Crete and is still producing fruit after 4,000 years.
- Color of the fruit depends on the maturity. Unripe fruit is green. Ripe fruit is dark purple to black in color.
- Before you can eat the fruit, it must be processed to remove the bitter glucoside oleuropein. They’re first treated with lye and then pickled.
- Olives contain about 20% oil.
- People around the world consume over 3 million tons of olive oil each year.
- Olives are rich source of oils, minerals and vitamins A, E, K and B.
- California is responsible for producing 95% of all olives in the United States and 99% of all the olive oil.
- 11 pounds of the pressed fruit produces one quart of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- One liter of oil is produced from the pressing of 7 liters of olives
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