the oil was
always present in the corners of daily life for the Portuguese: in the lamp
poor man and the rich man's candlestick, the peasant's frugal table and the solemn temples
of old cults.
Mythical, biblical, romantic and historical, “olive oil always comes to the fore”. It faced the new truth of selective markets and ceased to be simply the Olive oil, to adopt the cradle of an origin and assume the identity of a brand.
In Portugal, the olive tree culture is lost in the most remote times. Second the chronicles say, the Visigoths must have already inherited it from the Romans and these, possibly they had found it in the Iberian Peninsula. In turn, the Arabs maintained the culture and made it prosper, and the word Olive Oil comes from the Arabic word az-zait, which means “olive juice”.
In fact, the first manifestations of the importance of olive cultivation in Portugal appear in the provinces where the Christian reconquest later took place. realized. This is how the first charters referring to olive production concern the Portuguese provinces of Estremadura and Alentejo.
Until the end of the 12th century, in Portugal, the cultivation of the olive tree is not mentioned. nor the economic interest of its production. However, in the 13th century, olive oil was already occupies an important place in our foreign trade, a position that will later, it can be said that this fat was a very abundant in the Middle Ages.
Later, it is the religious orders that, with their role in revitalizing agriculture, dedicate special attention to the manufacture of olive oil. The "Holy Oil" will play a fundamental role in the economy of the Convent of Santa Cruz de Coimbra, the Monastery of Alcobaça, the Order of Freires de Cristo, the Order of Temple and the Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Drought resistant, easily adapted to stony terrain, the olive tree became a constant presence in Portuguese agriculture.” Source: Oil´s house