Are there White Olives?


The white olive, called Leucocarpa or Leucolea, is a rare variety that remains ivory-white during its ripening process. This happens because the flavonoids and anthocyanin are turned off, which are responsible for the color of the olives.

As the white color represents purity in Western culture, leucocarpa was grown near monasteries, as it was widely used in Catholic rites.

Its oil, very clear, was used in liturgical acts to anoint priests and high imperial offices, in coronations ceremonies for emperors and, above all, as sacred oil in religious acts, such as baptism, confirmation and anointing of the sick.

Because it produces little smoke when burned, it was also used in lamps in sacred places.

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