In Greek popular culture, olive oil is no less significant. For one, so deeply rooted is olive oil in the Greek psyche, that we don’t even bother qualifying it—Greeks use the generic word «oil» to refer to olive oil.

«To oil one’s intestines» in Greek means simply to eat something nourishing. Greeks even think of olive oil as an aphrodisiac. An old folk saying goes «eat oil and come tonight, eat butter and sleep tight»!


“The ash-paled Olive tree,

the  feeder of children

which no man, young or old

will ever dare to destroy

because on her, ever watchful,

rest the eyes of Mighty Zeus and

the owl-eyed Athena”

Sophocles, Oedipus on Colonnus