My great grandmother served chopped California black olive and cream cheese finger sandwiches on sourdough bread for Tea Parties with me. Kids can use cookie cutters to make different shaped sandwiches like these my grandson is eating. Olives are an ancient food, growing in the Mediterranean region for many thousands of years. The olive tree was the symbol of the first Olympic Games. A 700 BC olive oil mill was uncovered in Israel. Olives and olive oil were traded on the Roman stock exchange. Because of its life-giving properties, olive oil was widely used as a medicine, beauty aid, and an element of religious rituals, including Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. Franciscan monks carried olive seeds and cuttings across Mexico to California, where they found a perfect place to cultivate the olive tree.
The green olive and pimento cheese mixed grain bread sandwich was a favorite with my grandmother. The olive tree is sacred because it can be chopped to the ground and a new trunk will often grow from its roots. It can endure drought, freeze, and is pest resistant, making them nearly immortal. Some ancient Mediterranean olive trees are said to be over 3,000 years old. Olive oil has been used in salves, liniments, lotions, masks, and cleansers. Research shows that olive oil helps prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis because of its rich monounsaturated fat, antioxidant, and Vitamin E content.
A pita bread sandwich with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, basil, and oregano and a tortilla with organic pepper jack cheese and sliced black olives are other yummy olive sandwiches perfect for kids’ snacks. The olive leaf has been used for thousands of years to fight infection and disease because it contains oleuropein, an antimicrobial, and flavonoids that fight infection, another reason for the long life of the olive tree. Kids love the great taste of organic extra virgin olive oil on veggies, pasta, beans, sauces, and bread.