Before we delve into the depths of finance, discussing the alpha and beta strategies which are the primary subject of this chapter, we digress to the olive. Why olives? As we noted in Chapter 1 and numerous times since, it was in the olive market that Thales did the first recorded option trade. Hence, it seems like an appropriate place to start our story. Greek cuisine has become very popular worldwide. If there is a food which seems to embody Greece and its cuisine, it would likely be the olive. The very slightly bitter taste of the olive is incredibly distinctive, and a flavor which is instantly memorable. For those who have grown up surrounded by olives, it is a taste which reminds them of home. For the rest of us, it is a taste which whispers to us from the shores of the Mediterranean.
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