DOUBTLESS ones tastes regarding foods change as to me passes, but foods and the ways in which they are presented to the public change much more. A few examples might be mentioned. More than fifty years ago I had the experience of eating my first tomato. I remember it well with its very thick tough skin. It appeared to be three tomatoes grown into one, with three large marks showing where the tomato blossoms had been. I remember asking how it was eaten. I was told; “Cut it up and eat it with a mutton chop.” I tried it an ceased to want either tomato or chop.
Twenty-five years later I was a director of a limited company that succeeded in growing tomatoes with skins as thin as tissue paper and as smooth as glass, without a blossom mark. Further, like all things from the vegetable kingdom where the demand created ultimated supplied, the price of these superior tomatoes was less than half that of the inferior ones of a quarter of a century earlier. The same evolution occurred in the case of bananas, honey and many other valuable foods.
The valuable medicinal and curative virtues of the olive were first impressed on the writer by Dr. George Black, the homoeopathic doctor of Torquay, who was well-known in most parts of England. The olive oil then offered for sale in this country, to put it mildly, was anything but preferable to the vile tasting stuff sold as cod liver oil.
Dr. Black told the writer that he had never found a good olive oil in England, and asked if I would accompany him to the South of France and Italy on a voyage of discovery in the hope of finding a palatable olive oil, the first crushings from the finest quality ripe black olives. The visit was arranged, but it never materialised, for a gentleman from Italy soon afterwards came into my office with a sample of olive oil which I liked. It was free from any objectionable flavour. Dr. Black agreed that this was the oil he had been seeking.
This was in the year 1909 and this same oil has been known and imported ever since as “Pitman, A. I Cream of Olives.” Apart from all other considerations, foods should be presented in an attractive form if the best results are to be secured. Dr. George Black later told us of the wonderful virtues of olive oil in pamphlet No. 10, Health from Food Library, published at 2d. by the Pitman Health Food Co., Vitaland, Four Oaks.
The space at my disposal here is far too small to tell of a tenth of its value. Its history dates back for at least four thousand years. Many of the olive trees that existed in Palestine in the time of the Christ are said to be alive to-day. In Italy one is shown olive trees two thousand years old.
Many of the peasants in the olive growing districts, within fifty miles of the Mediterranean, who subsist largely on olives, olive oil and other fruit, have wonderfully healthy appearance. There is no form of fat more easy of assimilation and digestion. Its healing and health giving qualities are beyond compare.
In pressing the virgin oil from the olive no chemicals are used and no heat is applied. It will keep without preservatives and it is a perfectly natural food in which no germs can live. In Spain a meal is usually commenced with green olives, whilst olives served in different forms may appear many times on the same menu. T
he ripe black olives, as offered in Health Food Stores and high class Italian warehouses in England, are either original or salted. They should be soaked to restore them to their original size and softness, and to remove any excess of salt. Ripe black olives can also be obtained in olive oil, ready to serve. These are very delirious in garnishing salads, and they are eaten with many other foods as well.
Olive oil, lemon juice and honey, well mixed, provide a perfect salad dressing. A little mustard and salt can be added if desired. Owing to its easy assimilation and high nutritive value, olive oil is one of the finest flesh producers known.
To most it is highly palatable taken by itself, but for those who do not like it neat it can be taken with orange, lime or grape juice. In fact, it may be truly said: “the virtues of the finest olive oil are beyond compare.” The olive not only works wonders as a food, but as a medicine also. This aspect may be considered in another issue of this journal.
Those who cannot digest olive oil or dislike it intensely can derive great benefit by rubbing olive oil into the whole of the body, to be absorbed by the skin.
In the way it does not upset the digestion. It is invaluable for grown-ups and babies. It greatly improves skin action, the texture of the skin, protects against chills and colds and is of course as nutritive as if it was taken by the mouth. I have proved this in practice in numerous cases. EDITOR, “HEAL THYSELF.