There is evidence to show that olives have been cultivated for more than 5000 years with them being grown in the Middle East – Syria and Palestine – among many other countries in the Mediterranean. The biggest olive producer is Spain with Italy ranking second in volume and Greece third. Olives have multiple uses – in salads, as part of a stuffing with other ingredients such as feta cheese. They usually are at the centre of an excellent antipasto (appetiser plate of preserved vegetables, salami and cheeses).

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