The Olive and the Vine

Blessed by the gods the Greek people have been the caretakers of the gift of Athena ‘the olive’ and the gift of Dionisos ‘the vine’. This has become a recurring theme of mine for our travels in Greece; the importance of the olive and the grape vine to the lives of the Greek people. Two of the most important products in Greece come from the ancient olive trees and the ancient grape vines! Both are revered in Greece and no meal is complete without them. All meals are cooked with or liberally doused with olive oil; and all meals have a veritable fountain of wine. We always like to ask if the olive oil is produced by our host or the wine is family made. The answer of course is that is usually is made right here where ever we are sitting.

On many an occasion we have heard the vivid stories of how the family produces the olives and oil but ‘trades’ the oil for the wine the neighbour or brother had made! Everyone produces something from their own hands… and it is usually delicious. We have had home made or grown wine, olives, olive oil, cheese, tsiparou, raki, bread…and the list goes on and on! Our hosts always enjoy hearing our comments on the deliciousness of their products.

This adventure in Greece is no different than those past and the olive and the vine are still, and I suspect will remain two of the most life giving products that the gods have bestowed on the people of this wonderful land.

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