Olives and olive oil

Olea europaea, the “Mediterranean” olive tree, and numerous of its subspecies (most notably a dominant variant of Olea europea cuspidata) are present on the Kingdoms’ Earth and well known in the Four Realms, though they have a somewhat limited growth range. Beyond that area they are valued almost exclusively for their oil rather than the olive fruit proper (which seems, further south, to be considered something of “an acquired taste”).

O. europea cuspidata grows best and most extensively on the Darthene and North Arlene coasts near Síonan and Durhénded. Only the Southpeak dwarf oiltree, Olea chrysophylla medioregnis, is able to prosper south of the Great Road—mostly in the northern foothills of the Bluepeaks and Highpeaks, though also in the Steldene highlands south of the Waste. In its range it is planted extensively in back gardens and even hedgerows as a “kitchener’s tree”, and the oil of its relatively sparse fruit is highly prized for its sweetness and depth of flavor. This improves with age, so that in some parts of the Realms-wide south it is cellared like wine. In optimum conditions of cold and light-free cellarage, dwarf oiltree oil will keep as long as five years, even without a magic-worker bring involved.

Numerous other members of the Oleaceae are represented across the Realms… and, interestingly, the “national trees” of Arlen and Darthen, the whitestave and blackstave, are also members of genus Olea (Olea albavirga, Olea atricolor). However, their fruits’ unusually acrid flavor renders them and their oil inedible, so that the trees are prized primarily for their unique timber and their historical associations.*

*A particularly venerable specimen of O. albavirga—supposedly planted by Ealor Eagle’s-brother himself is located in the near environs of the Brightwood’s Woodward, and is a favored resort of both tourists and residents of the area.

The Prince-elect of the Brightwood has a nap under the local tourist attraction