The Importance of the Olive Tree History in Spain

The olive trees in Spain and their star product, the olive, are fundamental in the Mediterranean diet. Discover with iScribo the cultural symbol of the country.

Tell a Spanish that you are going to dress their salad with something other than authentic Spanish olive oil. The situation will probably end in a fierce argument. For the Unesco-endorsed World Olive Day on 26 November, iScribo teaches you some interesting facts about this tree, as well as the importance of olive oil in Spanish culture.

The cultivation of the olive tree has been rooted throughout the Mediterranean for centuries. The climate and terrain of the Mediterranean geography have made it grow in a healthy and fruitful way. There is evidence of the existence of olive tree varieties as far back as 12,000 BC. Its origin is marked by Greek mythology through a Greek legend.

Do you know where the word olivo comes from, and do you know how to form words from its root? Discover some linguistic and grammatical facts in this article and impress your friends with this symbol that Spaniards use and consume with pride.

Jaen, Land of Olive Oil

Spain is the country with the most olive trees in the world. It is normal that in Spain they feel immense pride when talking about their tree, even more so in the south.

Jaen, a province located in Andalusia, is home to the largest number of olive trees in the country. In total, this province yields 586,000 hectares to more than 70 million olive trees, which represents 78% of the province’s agricultural area and 20% of the world’s olive oil production. Such is the euphoria that it is marketed under the name AOVE, extra virgin olive oil.

As if this were not enough, Jaen offers olive oil tastings in almost all its municipalities. Come along, you won’t regret it!

Olive oil is the basic ingredient of the well-known Mediterranean diet, with numerous properties that benefit your health. What’s more, its flavour is unmistakable and adds a taste to food that will make you smile.

Etymology and Curiosities

To understand the history of a word we must look at its etymology. As in all Romance languages, the influence of Latin is more than frequent in Spanish vocabulary. We also have Arabic influence, so many other words derive from this language.

Our star product could not have a longer history, as its etymology comes from both Latin and Arabic, depending on where we are.

If we go to the north of the Iberian Peninsula, we are talking about “olivo” and “oliva”, which come from the Latin olea, which in turn comes from the Greek eala.

On the other hand, the Arabic word for the tree is zaitum, which comes from zait, a common root in Semitic languages. In the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, of course, the word aceituna is used because of the Arabic influence of the word zaytunah.

Lexical Family of Aceite and Olivo

The lexical family of a word is formed by adding prefixes or suffixes to its root or lexeme. From aceite, we find words such as:

Aceitoso: something that has a lot of oil in it.

Aceitera: small container with oil, for example for salads.

Ajoaceite: a sauce based on garlic and olive oil, which in turn is synonymous with alioli.

As for the olivo, we have derived words such as:

Olivete: small olive tree.

Olivillo: the same as the previous one, it is a diminutive of olive tree.

Olivar: field with many olive trees.

Olivera: synonym of olive.

There are also proper names derived from the olive tree:

Oliver: is a masculine name meaning “blessed by the olive tree”.

Olivia: is a feminine name that literally means “olive”, as a symbol of peace. Pretty, isn’t it?

Immerse Yourself in the Culture

Olive oil has been known since ancient times as “liquid gold” because of the benefits of the olive oil and its immense and incomparable attributes. Also, depending on the type of olive, the colour will be more yellowish, almost golden, another reason for the name.

At iScribo we not only take care of the language, but we also make sure that you learn about the culture that revolves around all Spanish-speaking countries so that you increase your love for this language, just like us.

With our spelling and grammar checker, you can practice the use of synonyms and lexical families in real-time. Remember that knowledge is a gift and writing well provides you with countless employment benefits.

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