The Massive Amount Of Olive Oil People In Greece Use Every Year

Olive oil is synonymous with Greece. According to Greek Olive Oil, it has been a part of the country's DNA since about 3500 B.C., when that first olive tree was grown in Crete, bringing forth the olive and all its goodness. It was not only used for medicinal purposes but also as a prize in the Panathenaic Games held every four years in honor of Athena. A first-place winner could receive an award of approximately 5 tons of this liquid gold. Needless to say, the people of Greece place great value on the olive tree and the oil that is derived from its fruit.

Fast forward to the present day, and Greece runs a close third to Spain and Italy when it comes to olive oil production, and fourth when it comes to exporting this commodity (via CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs). In 2019, 124 thousand tons of olive oil worth over a whopping $423 million was exported from Greece, with 65% of those exports being Rachael Ray's favorite EVOO. But Greece doesn't just produce olive oil. This is a country that also consumes its prized creation, and the massive amount that this country digests is definitely eye-popping. 

Greeks guzzle it by the gallon ... kind of

According to D'Olivo Tasting Bar, Greeks far surpass other nations in how much olive oil they consume. In fact, on average, people in Greece have just a little less than 1/4 cup each day. That translates to roughly 5.5 gallons annually. That's a lot of olive oil. To put that in perspective, in the United States, we use about 1/3 of a gallon per person each year. If olive oil consumption were a sport, Greece would definitely get the gold. In fact, they treat olive oil similar to how Americans treat milk. In the U.S., one person drinks around 17.3 gallons of milk each year, as per Eat this, Not that!

However, olive oil is an important part of the much revered Mediterranean diet, which is touted for its healthy approach to eating. And which brands are most popular in Greece? Per CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Koroneiki olive oil reigns supreme, which, according to California Olive Ranch, is produced from a tree growing in the region for more than 3,000 years. But Mastoidis olive oil and Adramitini olive oil follow close on its heels.