It is said that olive trees (Olea europaea) were introduced by the Phoenicians and Greeks to the Iberian Peninsula from where somehow they eventually reached Mallorca. After the conquest of the island in 1229, olive oil was exported from Mallorca during the 13th century to Northern Africa together with other agricultural products. For centuries, olive oil played a key role in the island’s economy, both as a basic ingredient in the natives’ diet and as a product for trading and exportation. Olive oil became Mallorca’s leading export product during the first half of the 19th century, accounting for up to 80% of Mallorca’s total exports in monetary terms. Mallorca’s oil achieved recognition outside the island in the late 19th century, when the second prize at a gastronomic award for quality oils held in Catalunya went to a Mallorcan oil produced by one of the island’s olive mills. Then, things began to turn stale.
Tourism became Mallorca’s big money earner during the second half of the 20th century and agriculture, farming and working the land did not prosper any longer. From two or three dozen oil mills in Mallorca during the 19th century, only two or three working oil presses were left when we came to the island in the late Eighties. Then, olive oil had virtually ceased to exist as a viable agricultural produce in Mallorca.
Luckily, things have changed in Mallorca for the better since then. Young farmers started to dedicate themselves again to the production of good quality olive oil. Olive trees were always mainly grown in the Tramuntana mountains. Working olive oil presses now exist in Puigpunyent, Esporles, Deià, Caimari, Sóller, Biniaraix, Fornalutx, Santa Maria, Orient, Mancor de la Vall, Pollença and Manacor. A D. O. certificate was created for Oli de Mallorca for a growing number of Mallorcan oil producers. A Fira de s’Oliva is celebrated in Caimari every year during the weekend following Inca’s Dijous Bo. Today’s photos were taken in Caimari last Saturday. Perhaps you want to pay a visit to Caimari this time next year, or simply buy some Mallorcan d’O olive oil any time soon. Your good health and physical well-being may well improve by the simple addition of some liquid gold from Mallorca. Give it a go.
The photos were taken in Caimari, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: November 20th, 2010. The time was 15:25:38 and 15:01:04, respectively.