The wild olive tree is the ancestor of today’s olive tree and grows almost all over the Mediterranean where the climate favors the cultivation of olive tree. Wild olives exist in large numbers in uncultivated land among olive groves and sprout on roots of olive trees.
Wild olive is known from ancient times, as before its domestication of which is likely to have been in Crete of Minoan era, gathered during the Neolithic era as food. Later it said that Roman emperors were making olive oil from wild olives and kept it for personal use. In the later centuries the olive oil of wild olives was forgotten.
Its foliage is small, its development is slow and its fruits are small with little oil yield and have red flesh unlike the cultivated olive which has white flesh. It takes 4-6 kg in average to produce 1 kg of olive oil, when it needs 15-20 kg of wild olive fruits to produce 1 kg of oilve oil. For this reason the production of olive oil from wild olives has been forgotten and only very few producers in the world produce it.
Olive oil from wild olives has a special flavor. The olive oil tasters don’t know how to describe it. It tastes like wild nature. Its organoleptic components and their composition seems to be quite different from those of the cultivated olive oil. It has the same fatty acids but it has a larger number of phenolic compounds, vitamin E, antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty.