Two women, both lived to be past 120 years old. One lived in France and the other in Israel. One had just one child, while the other had 11. What was their secret to remaining so healthy and living so long? These women, Jeanne Calment and Mariam Amash, both say their secret was simple: olive oil.
“For centuries, olive oil has been highly regarded for its nutritional, medicinal and cosmetic value. According to Calment and Amash, additional attributes are longevity and the enhancement of aesthetic beauty” repots Yardley Messeroux in his article Three Ways to Live 120 Years. These women both say that they drank two spoonfuls of olive oil daily, in addition cooking with olive oil and using it as a moisturizer.
Croatia has a very long tradition of olive oil production. Croatians are very passionate about olive oil and use it abundantly in their cuisine. Restaurant tables here are always equipped with olive oil, not only for salads but to drizzle on basically everything; soups, fish, pasta, meat, vegetables and yes, even your ice cream!
One of the beautiful things about traveling and experiencing what different countries and cultures have to offer, is how you are changed afterwards. Prior to olive oil tasting, the thought of drinking a communion size cup of olive oil might have seemed very unappetizing. However, once you learn the technique of olive oil tasting, you will discover that there is a huge range in quality and taste. You can develop a palate for the different aromas, textures and levels of spiciness within different kinds of olive oil. These all depend on the quality, production and kind of olives used. You will learn which types of olive oil match which types of food.
BRIST Olive is a family run business in Istria, which implements the oldest traditions of olive oil production. Their top shelf olive oil is even made from the highest quality olives that their family hand picks and harvests themselves. Even the grandkids get in on the action! They have a shop you can visit, or even better, you can take a tour of their olive grove.
While taking a walking tour through their olive grove, grown in Roman tradition, they explain how their family came to purchase the trees and how they strive to keep olive oil production integrity high. On their soon to be completed olive oil tasting veranda, you can taste their olive oils in the grove among the trees. Also enjoy the view of the ocean from their grove, not a bad perk.
The tour was also very family friendly. I took the tour with my friend who had a 4 month old along. Even though the stroller doesn’t have 4 wheel drive, we bumped along the paths through the olive grove. Lena, our guide and BRIST family member was all too kind and accommodating. Even laughing as we changed diapers and breast fed among the trees.
After your tour of their grove, you can head to their shop in the town of Vodnjan, which is close by and easy to get to. Here you will be surprised that despite the high quality of the oil, it is quite affordable.
This was definitely a highlight on my trip to Istria and worth scheduling in. So let’s toast with our communion size cups of olive oil to health and long life, now that we know the secret: olive oil!
Written by Guest Blogger Erica Huber
Images courtesy of BRIST Olive Oil