The olive fruit and its oil are key elements in the cuisine of the Mediterranean and are popular outside the region. The olive tree ranges in height from 3 to 12 metres (10 to 40 feet) or more and has numerous branches. The olive fruit is classed botanically as a drupe, similar to the peach or plum. Within the stone are one or two seeds. Olives tend to have maximum oil content (about 20?30 percent of fresh weight) and greatest weight six to eight months after the blossoms appear. Olives are one of the most extensively cultivated fruit crops in the world.
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