Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Enjoy Olive Oil While You're at Hvar

Olive on Hvar [Image Source]

Other than the divine lavender, olive oil is another famous product that is made on this beautiful island of sunshine.

Olive trees have been cultivated for over a century on the island. Olive groves bordered by grey stones surround Hvar Island and you can see beautiful olive trees everywhere. Olive trees are known to be symbolic for hope, peace, and rejuvenation. They also reflect on the magnificence which is the Mediterranean.

Olive is an evergreen plant which has been grown for thousands of years for its eatable fruit or the raw plant from which the oil is made out of. The olive tree gives young plants in such a way that it easily rejuvenates the old tree. It was said that a pigeon brought Noah an olive twig after a flood as a sign that the water was beginning to withdraw. An olive twig in the beak of a white pigeon is known today as a symbol of peace.

Olive oil is the healthiest fat and plays a major part in the Mediterranean style diet. It is recognized to have health benefits due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of anti-oxidative substances. It is believed to lower the risk of heart disease, control cholesterol, provide protection from certain cancers, and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. Olive oil’s benefits make it a popular choice among people who are health-conscious.

Olive harvesting season in Hvar is from October to November – and natives on Hvar consider this God's chosen time. Suncani Hvar is home to more than 350 olive trees found on its properties. This year, we had a very successful season, producing almost 500 litres of olive oil. Each year, hotel employees share in picking the olives – the same olives and olive oil that are served to guests in our restaurants.

Suncani Hvar offers the Olive Harvest Picnic where you can enjoy the fresh air, beautiful scenery and a marvellous harvest picnic under the olive trees. You can also choose to go to an olive oil mill, where you can observe and learn more about the art of creating some of the world's finest olive oils. You will experience the legacy of the Hvar culture and love this island of passion.

Together with the Agricultural Association, Eko Hvar has opened a shop specializing in Hvar island products. The shop is a popular place for locals and tourists who appreciate a one-stop shop for nearly everything that is produced on the island –its famous wine, lavender, rosemary, oregana, soaps, honey, dried figs, other indigenous Hvar products, and of course olive oil which is produced in traditional way with high ecological standards. Many tourists purchase olive oil as a useful souvenir.

Do you have a favourite recipe using olive oil? Comment below, share it with us on our Facebook page or better yet, tweet us on Twitter!

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