The olive harvest season has begun in the Near East. This almost-sacred time of year brings life to Levantine homes. Harvesting olives is a tradition that dates back thousands of years, across generations of families. Many still use the same tactics passed down from their ancestors during the harvest. Collecting the olives can be labor intensive, but the community waits in anticipation for this season each year. Some plantations even invite the public to help with the harvest and learn more about this time-honored custom. Regions throughout the Levant have the prime climate for cultivating olive trees, and therefore the olive has been an integral part of Levantine cultures, with deep roots throughout the agriculture sector, the economy, and the home.
Our founder Maya has a few favorite ways she enjoys olives:
- First, she loves the pure, unadulterated olive as a component of Lebanese mezze. Mezze is an assortment of small plates, meant to be shared. Accompaniments to the olives may include everything from hummus and beef kafta to falafel and roasted eggplant. Enhance your olives by marinating them in warm olive oil and your choice of herbs.
- Second, Maya adds olives to complement whatever wrap or spread she’s eating. Labneh, a spreadable cheese made from Greek yogurt, pairs particularly well with olives. The slightly bitter and salty notes of the olives balance nicely with the mild tang and creaminess of the labneh.
- Last, Maya sprinkles olives atop her za’atar man’ousheh. Man’ousheh is similar to flatbread and is often eaten at breakfast and lunch.
At Za’atar Road, we carry both black and green olives that bring unique flavors to meals and snacks. We also have a variety of tapenades and olive oils, both pure and flavor-infused, that you can incorporate into just about any eating occasion. Find these delicious products by clicking here. But, the impact of olives goes far beyond the plate. In fact, olive oil is an essential ingredient in many natural beauty and spa goods produced in the Levant. Olive oil is known to be naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants which are said to help moisturize the skin, fight signs of aging, and help repair damaged skin. You’ll find a lovely variety of these products to treat yourself with here.
May this new olive harvest bring with it a fruitful year for you and yours. We hope you’ll find time to connect with loved ones across the table, preserve traditions that are dear to you, and take care of yourself along the way.