The olive is the fruit of the olive tree—a tree that is widely grown in countries bordering the Mediterranean. This is where people first started consuming olives and pressing them to extract oil. Today, olives are grown in all parts of the world, including in California where the past few years have seen the development of expertise in refined olive oil production.
There is an infinity of olive varieties on the market—each of different sizes, colours and flavours. They can be eaten whole, on their own, or used for cooking. In terms of nutritional value, olives are high in iron and copper.