The olive is the most beloved and generous Dalmatian tree, and it is easy to see why. The rough uneven terrain of the southern slopes and the abundance of long hot summers, constantly create ideal conditions for the olive to thrive in this area. The characteristic of olive oils from Croatia is the fact that the best ones come from small olive groves. Where every tree enjoys the special care and special affection and love of its masters. Some traditions and customs, such as washing olives in the sea, make Croatian olive oils even more distinctive.
As a tree, the olive shaped the history and culture of Croatia as well as the Dalmatian region, more than any other. The initial production of olive oil can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Throughout all centuries, the olive tree in Croatia has practically ensured man’s survival. Whether as food, oil, or as medicine, olives have always been ubiquitous in this area. Throughout ancient history, the Greeks and Romans preserved the quality of the prestigious Dalmatian olive and its oils, traveled vast distances to return the special nectar to their civilizations.
Istria and Dalmatia are two different Croatian regions. In Dalmatia, it is quite common to find olives scattered all over the place in hard-to-reach areas where water resources are scarce. Dalmatians use another type of press, which is why their oil is not as ripe and bitter as Istrian. Dalmatian olives are scarcer due to karst and climate. While Istrians are more inclined to quality than quantity. Istrians have a lot of olives and can afford to be “picky” and produce quality olive oil. But in a smaller quantity, and yet they are quite satisfied with it.
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