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Local products (4)
Olives and olive-oil
The olive tree, which is an evergreen tree that lives for many years,
has been well-known since antiquity, the references made in the Bible, in mythology
and in historical years and was thought of as a symbol of peace and fertility.
The cultivation of olive trees in Messinia is mentioned in the homeric years and
ancient vases for the storage of oil have been found in the area of the Palace
of Nestoras as well as signs of grammiki (linear) writing type B dating back to
the 12th century B.C. with the word EEAVON (ELAION) on them.
The eatable olive of Kalamata, famous for its crunchy fruit, as well
as the oil producing olive of Koroni, were first found, cultivated and spred from
the Messinian Land. Because of the constant sunshine and the enriched with nutrients
soil the produce is rich in aromatic elementsand it isbeneficial to the human
circulatory system and the heart. 13,000,000 olive trees are cultivated in traditional
family olive groves on the plains and the slopes of hills by small-scale producers.
This is positive because it means that they themselves control the process of
the ripening of the fruit and its harvest and produce 60,000 tons of olive oil
of excellent quality and acidity from 0,3% to 0,6%, while the stable K270 varies
from 0,09 to 0,13 and the K232 from 1,3 to 1,5. The conditions of cultivation,
the method of production, harvest and the working on the oil by the 300 olive
presses of Messinia, which work with stainless steel technological equipment and
use natural processes like pressing and centrifugal force, constitute olive oil
as a natural fruit juice with a rich aroma and a spicy taste, which keeps its
nutrients unchanged by the process. Because the quality and its characteristics
are solely due to natural and human factors, the messinian olive oil has been
established as oil to have the name of its place of origin protected. The working
on the oil, its filtering, its standardization as well as its promotion are done
by small businesses which are based in Messinia.
This text is cited March 2003 from the Messenia Prefecture Tourism Promotion Commission URL below, which contains images.
The fig tree is among the first fruit-bearing trees which were cultivated
by Man ei Syria in the 4th millennium B.C. and it soon spread to the areas around
the Aegean. In ancient Greece, together with the olive tree and the vineyard,
it constituted one of the most important forms of nutrition.
In Messinia and in the regions of Messini and Pylia the monofori fig
tree of Kalamata is cultivated in 30.000 stremmata which gives excellent quality
fresh as well as dried figs. The culitivation is favoured in the area by the climate
which is semi-dry and the area produces about 6.000 tons of dried figs annually.
During harvest, from the 15th August to the 30th September there are temperatures
of 30 C which favour the ripening and the drying of the fruit.
SYKIKI, which is a central agricultural partnership union, is responsible
for the collection of the figs from the producers, the killing of germs, the promotion
towards manufacturing where it is packaged in «tsapeles» and the final promotion
The fig has a special place among the fruit because it is natural,
tasty, nutritious and healthy while its qualities as an emollient and a mild laxative
establish it as an important remedy.
The fig is consumed fresh and is eaten unripe as a sweet as well as
a dried fruit accompanying alcoholic drinks and includes calcium, phosphorus and
iron and gives 2900.
This text is cited March 2003 from the Messenia Prefecture Tourism Promotion Commission URL below, which contains image.
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