The Unknown Gold
Olive oil is the liquid goodness we reap from the olive. This tree crop is mostly found in the Mediterranean Basin and has a lot to offer to humankind. We use it in the kitchen, on our bodies, furniture and so many other places. Olive oil's health benefits are commonly known but the interesting and gripping history behind it is rarely spoken about. Of the many theories behind the evolution of olive oil, two of the most interesting are:
The Big Fat Greek Theory
Athens is named for the Goddess Athena who brought the olive to the Greeks as a gift. Zeus had promised to give Attica to the god or goddess who made the most useful invention. Athena's gift of the olive, useful for light, heat, food, medicine and perfume was looked greatly upon. Athena planted the original olive tree on a rocky hill that we know today as the Acropolis. The olive tree that grows there today is said to have come from the roots of the original tree. Homer, the Greek poet called it 'liquid gold.'
Light of Jews
Olive oil lamp is the kind of lighting that was used in the Holy-land 2,000 years ago. It is the oil that was used in the Temple Menorah during both the first and the second Temple in Jerusalem. It was the oil that brought about the miracle of Hanukkah during the time of the Maccabees – over 150 years before Jesus was born and the oil that Jesus studied the Holy Scriptures by, in his childhood home in Nazareth.
In Greece, they rubbed their bodies with this oil and it's glow has illuminated it's rich history, also the tree has been blessed with something close to immortality. They grow proud and strong no matter what harsh weather mother nature puts them through. This adds to it's popularity , making it a household item. The benefits of olive oil are innumerable. From curing cancer cells to aiding hair growth to moisturizing the skin to removing the dirt from tiny nails. But an underrated concept of olive oil is its role in art. The main reason it is used for art is because Olive oil burns cleanly, without smoking. It doesn't spread toxic hydro-carbons into the air. It is inexpensive and plentiful and a renewable lamp fuel. Instead of spending a fortune on decoration, using the bottle that contains the liquid gold is way more convenient.
Olive Oil Lamp
Using pliers cut a 15 inch length of wire. Roll one end of the wire tightly around the nose of the pliers 4 to 6 times. Move to the other end of the wire and wrap a circle that will fit into the bottom of the jar that you've chosen for your lamp. Wrap this circle several times with the wire to make a firm foundation for your wick. Using tweezers, feed your wick through the circle made by the pliers, and pull through the top as in the photo. Place the wick in its holder in the jar. Fill with olive oil to within one inch of the top of the wick. Allow the wick to absorb olive oil to the top of the wick. This may take 10 minutes or more. Once the wick is saturated, light the wick with a match or candle and voila you have a olive oil lamp.
Olive oil Painting
Paint an empty wine bottle with non-toxic paint and fill with olive oil. Top with an oil pour spout that can be found at a gourmet cooking shop. Turn a wine bottle into an oil bottle Van Gogh on a wine bottleLemon-filled Olive Oil LanternsLoosely twist your wire around the wick
leaving a small portion at the top in order to light on fire. Center your wick inside your container then bend the wire over the side to anchor it into place. You can buy special oil lantern wicks specifically to use with converting canning jars into lanterns. Then slice your lemons to your desired thickness and place them inside your container arranging them in a way to cover the sides without taking up the bulk of room inside the container. You want to fill it with as much oil as possible. After you've arranged your lemon slices the way you want, carefully fill the container with your oil. Not only are the lemons pretty but they also help scent the oil so it will give off a soft lemon fragrance the longer they soak in the oil.
The real origin of the blessed olive is not certain but it is speculated to be from Syria or sub-Saharan Africa. For more than 6000 years, olive has developed alongside Mediterranean civilizations and is now commercially produced on more than 23 million acres in the Mediterranean basin. It is more just food or flavour for the people from the Basin. It is their identity and pride.
Having been used for centuries, it is simply one of the least harmful fats in use no matter what our nutritional choices may be. It's endorsement by all communities is the proof of it's worth. Olive oil beauty products are a multibillion dollar business and its uses stretch far and wide – from human health to art – you name it, olive oil has a solution for it.