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The Incredible Edible(?) Olive!

Have you ever tried a tiny green fruit called an olive? Did you like it? Or did it make your face pucker?

Whether you liked it or never want to see another one as long as you live, this little guy, and its distant cousin the black olive, were hugely popular in ancient Greece. So popular, in fact, that the Greeks named their capital city after the goddess who brought the olive tree to mere mortals!

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Olives galore!
According to Greek mythology, one day the gods up on Mount Olympus decided to hold a competition to name Greece's capital city. Whoever gave the best gift to mortals would have the city named after them.

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An Olive Press from the days of old
The first to try was Poseidon, god of the sea. He threw his mighty staff into the ground, and up sprang a horse! Ever since, mortals have cherished the horse for its strength and usefulness.

But Athena, goddess of wisdom, was a little bit smarter! She gave mortals the olive tree, which represents peace and prosperity, and is also used to make bowls, lamp oil, firewood and all different kinds of yummy recipes!

Athena won the competition hands down, and now we think of her when we hear the Greek capital, Athens!

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Monica checks out the olive tree
So the next time someone offers you an olive, and you either jump at the chance or jump back in horror, remember that you've got the chance to munch on the fruit of the gods!


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