Olive Oil & Olives in the Greek Cuisine

Similarities in the use of Olive Oil since the ancient years until today are significant evidence for the unbroken chains of Greeks with the ‘blessed’ olive fruits and only prove the natural, pure origins of the olive products.

Olive Oil

Ancient Greeks used Olive Oil in their cooking, but they also used it uncooked in combination with “garos” (a kind of sauce made by fish entrails) or with vinegar. In the Byzantines’ cooking, Olive Oil was used as a herb for vegetables. It is obvious that Olive Oil used to hold a primary position in the ancient Greeks’ cuisine. This only proves that its nutritive values were already known since antiquity. Now-a-days, Greeks can’t consider a meal without Olive Oil, uncooked in their salad or cooked with meat, fish, pasta or vegetables!


Like today, olives were distinguished to green and black. During the ancient years, people used to soak the bitterness out of olives with clear water with or without salt. An alternative was today’s method of crushing olives, the so-called in Greece “tsakistes”. The most known green olives (from the antiquity up to today) were those from which the bitterness was soaked out with the use of salted water and spices, known as “kolibades”, especially famous during the Byzantine times. The olives were preserved in salted water, vinegar or honey and vinegar. The black ripe olives were preserved in salt and could be retained for many years. There were, of course, some varieties of olives which ripped on the tree, known as “dripetis” during antiquity, “droupates” during Byzantine years and “throubes” today.