Traditionally, in Greece, it has always been believed that the olive tree is sacred. In ancient Greek mythology, Athena and Poseidon competed for the name of the city by offering gifts. Athena’s gift of the olive branch, which is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and peace, supposedly won her the honour of bestowing her name on the city, which we know of as Athens. Even today, babies are baptised in the Greek Orthodox religion by spreading olive oil on the body of the child and forming a cross on the child’s forehead.
Therefore, the olive tree has had multiple uses of the years. It is not only venerated for its delicious fruit and ‘liquid gold’, but has also been used in folk medicine, sports, religion and cosmetics, while its wood and foliage has been used in carpentry and wood-carving. The olive tree has equally been an inspiration in the arts and literature.
Throumba olives are the most natural olives to be consumed as they are a ripe olive, which loses its bitterness on its own with natural processes on the tree. This medium-sized, wrinkly olive becomes sweet on the tree during ripening. Therefore, Thassos Throumba are a natural product needing no other processing to lose its bitterness and achieve its sweetness.
These olives are allowed to mature on the tree. From November to January, the olives are taken from the tree and collected in a wide net spread below. The olives are stored in plastic barrels with the addition of sea salt until they are ready. They are then washed thoroughly to remove any excess salt and are laid out to dry naturally. Finally, they are packed under a vacuum with a small amount of sunflower oil. It is important to note, however, that Verlina packages Throumba twice a year. The first olives, or fresh olives, are packaged in February. These olives have only spent a couple of months in salt and so are still relatively juicy. However, those olives packaged in the summer are less juicy as the longer period in salt has drawn out more of the olive's juice. We recommend you try both and decide for yourselves which you prefer.
Honey was used in the nutrition of the ancient civilisations of Egypt, India and China to cure digestive and respiratory illnesses, as well as cardiac problems. It was also used to relieve arthritic pains and heal injuries and burns. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates and Aristotle used honey in their everyday meals ensuring longevity and a strong immune system. They recognised the fortifying and purifying properties of honey and recommended it to their students, who used the honey to heal a number of diseases. Honey contains various sugars, such as glucose, fructose and saccharose. These sugars are considered to be a very good source of energy. Honey additionally contains enzymes, which are necessary for every function of the human organism. Other trace elements of potassium and calcium are also indispensable elements for cell and human body functions. Honey also contains small protein quantities and vitamin B. Additionally nowadays, we also realise the very important role the bees play in the maintenance and improvement of our ecosystem. However, even after considering all the evident health benefits of honey and its contributions to our ecosystem, we should also not ignore its wonderfully satisfying taste.
Bees store and process nectar from trees and flowers. Our beekeepers keep these swarms of bees healthy so they can process this nectar within the hive under the most favourable conditions. After this very important process, the honey is transferred to a privately-owned packaging plant and is packaged under high quality conditions. The ingredients are by no means compromised and no additives are used. Honey is characterised by its colour, aroma and taste. These characteristics are not only a result of the types of plants, which the bees have visited, but also a result of the weather and environmental conditions. Thassos Island is an optimal environment with perfect conditions for bee-keeping, which is why honey is one of the island’s most desired products.