Olive oil production by country: Top 10 country list- Greece Ranks at Number 2

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You pour it on your salads, mix it into your pasta dishes, and use it to fry mouthwatering steaks. Olive oil is tasty and has so many health benefits. But do you know where it comes from and which countries make the best olive oil

Expat Explore has found ten countries that pride themselves on excellent varieties of this product. A lot of these countries can be seen when touring Europe. So, what is olive oil made of? And which country produces the most olive oil? Learn everything you need about the best versatile, delicious liquid gold.

How is olive oil made?

The process of how olive oil is made is relatively simple to understand. It all starts with olives, so for those who might have wondered, “Is olive oil made with olives?” the answer is yes. 

The olives are mechanically or chemically ground to extract their oil. This product is made from the liquescent fat of the olives themselves. Here are some things that set the best olive oil apart from the rest: 

  • Bitterness
  • Fruitiness
  • Pungency
  • Complexity 
  • Harmony of the blend
  • Persistent aftertaste

The best olive oil comes from well-grown olives and a smooth and efficient oil-making process. Below you’ll find a few countries that excel in the industry.

10 Countries famous for olive oil production 

There are many more countries beyond this list that produce excellent olive oil. However, we cannot include all the many olive oil-producing countries in one list! These are just a few of the top olive oil-producing countries in the world. Each destination has prominent olive oil farms and celebrates this tasty oil with its local cuisine.

 1. Spain

Starting with olive oil royalty, Spain has been producing quality olive oil for years. With a record of 1,059,194 tons of olive oil made from 1994 to 2013, according to FAOSTAT, Spain is a heavyweight provider. If you are eagerly waiting to find out what country produces the most olive oil, you have it right here. 

Spain’s ideal climate and location make it the best country for cultivating delicious olives. You may wonder which region of Spain exports olive oil worldwide –  that would be Andalucía, a coastal area in the country.

2. Greece

Greece has been recorded to use up to 60% of its land to produce our favourite culinary oil. With over 2,800 olive oil mills countrywide, we can feel Greece's passion for olive oil. 

The region known most famously for producing record amounts is the Peloponnese region.

3. Italy

Italy is known to produce the second-largest amount of olive oil. Most of the olive oil in Italy comes from the southern regions, such as Sicily, Basilicata and Sardinia.

4. Tunisia

Tunisia is a country in North Africa, and its main agricultural export is olive oil. It has a sterling reputation for providing superior-quality olive oil. Tunisia ships tons of this product annually to countries like the USA, Spain, Portugal and France.

5. Portugal

Known as one of the most ancient places for producing olive oil, Portugal brings us some of the crème de la crème of this product. Olive trees cover a vast amount of land in Portugal and have since the Roman ruling era.

6. The United States of America

It comes as no surprise that a country like the USA would be famous for olive oil production. However, California is the only prominent olive oil-producing state in the whole country. 

Companies like the COOC ensure that all of the olive oil produced has a seal of quality excellence and has been tested for purity. This is because California has the best climate for cultivating everything, including flourishing olive trees.

7. Argentina

There are so many reasons to visit Argentina! With gorgeous natural landscapes, friendly people and great food, Argentina is the perfect place to enjoy world-class olive oil. Most wineries in Argentina also produce olive oil, as the soil is ideal for both olives and grapes.

8. France

With Picholine olives originating in Southern France, we can rest assured that this country has the best resources. Although the production levels are trim, the superiority of the olive oil taste makes this country stand out. France is all about quality over quantity when it comes to the cultivation of olive oil.

9. Egypt 

Known as the birthplace of the olive tree, there is a legend in Egypt that tells the tale of Isis – the goddess of life and magic – teaching the Egyptians how to create olive oil. Although this is only a myth, we love the passion with which this product is made in this country. Some of Egypt’s finest olive oil brands are Golden Field, Isis, and Pioneer.

10. Turkey

Last but certainly not least, Turkey is internationally recognised for its olive oil expertise. Turkey produces around 200,000 tons of olive oil annually, and olive oil production in Turkey is milder and fresh in flavour.