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Olive Wood

Interesting facts about the olive tree

Olive trees have accompanied humans for more than 8000 years. Olives were one of the most important food items of the time on Crete. The olive tree, also called the oil tree, has its origins in the Middle East near the river Euphrates. The river rises in Turkey and crosses Syria and Iraq unit it finally empties into the Persian Gulf.

The European Union is currently both the largest producer of olive oil and olive wood products and its largest consumer at the same time. The quantity of all olive trees located in the Mediterranean is estimated to be approx. 500 million. A steady increase in numbers is expected as demand continues to rise.

Many tales and myths surround the olive tree. The most famous example is the dove sent by Noah. It returned to the ark with an olive branch in its beak, a sign of life on earth. The dove and olive branch still represent peace and hope today.

The olive tree is also an important part of Greek Mythology. Athena was gifted patronage of Athens by Zeus as a result of her growing an olive tree on the acropolis hill. Contrary to popular belief, it was not a laurel wreath that was awarded to the winner of the Olympic games but a wreath of olive branches.

Properties of olive wood

Ever since the time of Homer, i.e. the eighth century AD, olive wood has been a very popular material because of its hardness and durability. Olive wood stands out because of the following special properties:

  • Olive wood is extremely hard, even harder than oak and beech
  • It has a high resistance against mold because of its naturally occurring antibacterial lignin and tannins
  • Olive wood does not absorb odors
  • The wood’s high density makes it a high-quality product that fits comfortably into your hands
  • Every product is one of a kind because of its distinct wood patterns and warm colors
  • Olive wood has a high oil content which makes it naturally water-repellent

Olive wood is one of the hardest woods in Europe which makes it ideal for the production of durable kitchen utensils. The hardness of wood is measured in Brinell where it reaches a hardness of 5.3. In comparison, oak only reaches a value of 3.5 and beech reaches 3.7. Only rose wood exceeds it with a hardness of 5.8, alongside a few other non-European species.

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Facts about the olive tree

The olive tree is a very durable and undemanding tree that prefers locations where it doesn’t rain for months on end and the sun is able to heat it up nicely. It only requires small quantities of water which is why it grows so slowly. The first small harvest of an olive tree occurs when it is 8 to 10 years old.

It is easy to cope with such a small first harvest for the time being seeing as the olive tree has a high lifespan of several hundred years and bears fruit until old age. Some trees have demonstrably lived for more than 2000 years. The yearly harvest yields approx. 20 kg of olives per trees which produce about 3 to 4 l of olive oil.

Why is olive wood such a good choice for kitchen utensils?

Olive wood is excellently suited for kitchen utensils because of its high density and firmness that results from the olive tree’s slow growth. This particularly applies to cutting boards since cutting boards made out of olive wood are not only extremely long-lasting but also resistant to acids, odors and stains.

Olive wood naturally contains tannins and lignin which make it resistant to mold and bacteria. A cutting board made out of olive wood has hygienic advantages compared to cutting boards made out of plastic. Bacteria tends to flourish inside of plastic cutting boards‘ grooves.

It is also perfectly suited for use as spatulas and cooking spoons because of olive wood’s high resistance to heat. The material has the advantage of not leaving scratches inside of non-stick coated pots and pans.

Salad cutlery made out of olive wood is not only decorative but also more hygienic than the plastic alternative because of its antibacterial properties.

Our olive wood products are acid-resistant and easy to clean. Warm water and a soft cloth suffice most of the time. Stubborn dirt can be removed with a mild dish soap and a sponge.