MOST of the olives we eat today come from the Mediterranean countries of Spain, Portugal and Italy - but the original source of the olive tree is the Middle East.
Traders later brought the seeds to Europe and North Africa.
You cannot eat olives directly from the tree as they have a bitter taste. They must first be pickled in salted water.
But olive oil is the most important product of the tree.
In ancient times, a person's wealth was measured by the number of jars of the precious olive oil he or she owned.
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