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Seeking the secrets of the inmortal tree that seduces the world

Seeking the secrets of the inmortal tree that seduces the world

09/24/2014 - Canadian writer and adventurer Julie Angus embarks through Olive Odyssey on a new and wonderful journey, but this time towards the secrets of the olive culture. Written for foodies, adventurers and even historians, this book is an ode to one of the foods which make the world fall in love and a passionate and fascinating biography of this ubiquitous fruit through the stunning landscapes of its origin. Here is an excerpt from the article published in Mercacei Magazine 80 in the Library section.
"Every journey is a quest and a fascination for the world of the senses" (Anonymous). This quote could sum up the last adventure of the molecular biologist, adventurer, writer and photographer Julie Angus in the search of the secrets behind the liquid gold next to her husband Colin Angus. She indeed received in 2007 the prestigious prize Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic Magazine, having completed a world tour on foot, by bike, skis and rowing.

Olive Odyssey traces the journey of Julie and Colin, which, sailing from Spain to the Middle East, had to deal with strong winds, relentless waves, and a baby who would not sleep, all of it with the desire of discovering the ancient history of the olive tree. In this adventure, the Angus family collected samples of centennial trees to determine, through its DNA, where the first olive tree originated and carried out the route of the Phoenicians who ate the first olive of the world. They also discovered why olive oil became such an important product for the great civilizations, witnessed the olive harvest in Greece and visited the world's oldest olive tree, reveling in this journey with local dishes dressed with olive juice.

"In a previous trip to Syria, we visited the olive farm of my family and there I had the opportunity to try a different olive oil. It was light, fruity and of first pressing; a world apart from what I was used to buy in supermarkets. "

Julie Angus told Mercacei Magazine the reason that led her and her family on this journey full of curiosities and where she found that olive oil has an important role in history, as it was not only a livelihood, but represented an abundant and widely used product in the Phoenician, Greek and Roman times.

The history of the olive tree
"One of our main goals was to explore the ancient maritime trade routes used by the Phoenicians in order to analyze the role played by this civilization in disseminating the olive throughout the Mediterranean," said Julie Angus.

"The prevailing theory is that the Phoenicians were also responsible for distributing the crop from what is now the area of Syria, Israel and Jordan to the rest of the Mediterranean," stressed Julie Angus, who wondered, before embarking on her journey, if her experience in molecular biology, would help study DNA analysis of some of the ancient olive trees in the Phoenician ports to be able to shed light on this mystery.

Therefore, she worked with National Geographic and an Italian university in order to find the oldest trees and discover some of the secrets about the history of the olive. An analysis that offers "intriguing" results which are revealed in detail in her book.
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