Olive Oil

Olive oil is a humble yet vital part of the diet of millions of people around the world, and especially is this so in the Mediterranean region of which North Cyprus is a part. Olives and the rich oil extracted from them is some sort of wondrous elixir that guarantees a long and healthy life.
The health benefits of olive oil are unrivaled, and research reveals more benefits nearly every day. In fact, we are only just beginning to understand the countless ways olive oil can improve our health, and our lives: it reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, it might help prevent strokes, keeps the heart young, fights osteoporosis, may protect from depression, olive oil found to help prevent skin cancer.
Harvest time of olives in North Cyprus usually begins sometime in October, when the early green olive first fruits are gathered either by shaking the branches over sheets spread on the ground around the tree, or by individually picking the olives by hand.
The olive oil is made at the processing plants in North Cyprus. It is generally “cold pressed” which makes the best quality extra virgin olive oil. If you start to heat olive oil above room temperature, some of the quality is lost, and it can seriously affect the taste and texture of the oil. Extra virgin olive oil is oil produced from the first pressing or processing of the olives. Other olive oil such as olive pomace oil is made from olives that have been pressed more than once, which produces cheaper oil, but of inferior quality.
Although olive trees can live and produce olives for hundreds of years, they do need skilful pruning and without attention they can soon die off. This has been the case in North Cyprus, but now that young trees planted and have started to produce, growers are hoping once again North Cyprus region will be a serious Mediterranean producer. Some estimates suggest that there are about 800 million olive trees under cultivation around the world, and nearly all of them are in the Mediterranean countries.
In the beginning of the harvest time of olives it is now a tradition in North Cyprus to celebrate this important event. The North Cyprus Olive Festival takes place for a week in October. The small village of Zeytinlik is the host of festival which is focused around locally produced olives and olive products. During the festival activities, shows and concerts together with demonstrations of Cypriot handcrafts are performed. Traditional food can be tasted and various products such as soaps and oils are available for sale.