The ancient Romans were among the first to appreciate the beneficial qualities of olive oil. Centuries later, this legacy lives on in Dalmatian kitchens, where olive oil is used to transform simple fresh produce into wonderfully delicious food.
Olive is the commonest and most important fruit of Dalmatia. Throughout the history it was the staple product of the islands and coastal areas. Olive trees supplied the local people with everything they needed: wood for timber and firewood, leaves for animal feed, fruit for human consumption and oil for food, medicines and lamps.
The beginnings of olive growing in Dalmatia date back to the late Bronze Age, as indicated by the olive pits found during archaeological excavations in the Vranjic area, near the ancient city of Salona.
Dalmatia today has about 4.5 million olive trees and most of the oil is produced locally, with all stages of production taking place in the region where the olives are grown: from planting, picking, pressing, and processing to bottling and packaging.
The awards that top-quality Dalmatian olive oils have won in competitions in recent years have put Croatia on the olive oil map as one of Europe’s premier olive oil-producing countries.