Olives and Olive Oil
The Olive is the fruit from the Olive tree (Olea europaea) and is a major component of the agriculture and cookery across the Mediterranean both in Europe and North Africa, including the Middle East.
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive (Olea europaea; family Oleaceae), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is often used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Olive oil is used throughout the world, but especially in the Mediterranean.
Gourmets from the Roman Empire to the present day have valued the unripe fruit, steeped in brine, as challenging to the palate. The bitter juice deposited during pressing of the oil (called amurca), and the astringent leaves of the tree have many virtues attributed to them by ancient authors. Olive oil as a cooking medium emerged as an economical alternative to the butter and animal fats used elsewhere.
Olives are high in monounsaturated fat, iron, Vitamin E and dietary fibre. Naturally ripened purple/black appearing olives contain anthocyanins. This does not include artificially ripened "black olives" that are frequently canned and sent to grocery stores. There's also an effect that typical processing has on the quantity and type of anthocyanins contained in olives.