The California Olive Oil Council has responded to the article in the New Yorker on the trade in adulterated olive oil by emphasizing its seal of certification for EVOO should be a reassurance for consumers. More here in their press release.
Thieves alleged to have stolen more than one and a half million tonnes of olives have been arrested. The olive press reports Police from Spain and Italy arrested 18 people in a joint operation. The gang is accused of stealing the olives from trees in the provinces of Granada, Malaga, Jaen and Cordoba. The stolen olives were then converted into oil and transported to Italy, for sale.
Eduardo is looking for a manufacturer of Fustis in Europe or elsewhere to import to California. His email is: edesoto (at) verizon.net Past posts on this at the olive blog, with links to manufacturer websites, include those here, here and here.
Meanwhile Brian posts to say he is in the process of setting up an organic olive stall in a market in Amsterdam. Let tob know when it is up and running and we will be happy to give Dutch readers a heads up.
From today's Arizona Republic comes an article on quality olive oils with this quote:
There is definitely a place in our pantries for everyday olive oil to use for sautéing fish, marinating meats, roasting vegetables and countless other culinary applications. But every cook's pantry also should have a bottle of luxurious extra-virgin olive oil on hand for those occasions when the more robust, more eloquent oil is called for.
A reminder in the Monterey Herald that Farmer's Markets are a great place for Christmas shopping as well as a snip on the founding of Coeur D'Olives in Clint Eastwood's town of Carmel. The article is here.
A few articles on the the olive industry in California and Spain caught the olive blog's attention this week. In this one, in Recordnet, Fritz Grupe talks about his dense, vineyard-style plantings that will allow mechanical harvesting. An article Capital Press, by way of contrast, looks at some of the history associated witht he Californian industry. The article says that the California Olive Oil Council reports almost 200 olive oil producers in their membership statewide and their members range from the scale of the California Olive Ranch to the boutique size of production. Finally, an article in Marinij about the Spanish olive industry says there are reputedly 250 types and regional varieties of olives in that country and that about 80 percent of the crop is concentrated in Andalusia. The article continues with a sweeping history of olives in Spain:
Olive cultivation and oil extraction were brought to Iberia by the Phoenicians around 1050 BCE, and again by the Greeks between 600 to 700 BCE but it was the Romans who turned Iberian oil into an industry. When the Roman Empire fell, olive oil production declined throughout most of Europe. In 711 when the Arabs arrived in Spain bringing new varieties and techniques, Spain saw an increase in cultivation. After 1492 when the Catholics conquered the Moors, in what is known as the Spanish Reconquest, the Catholic monarchs instituted the Inquisition, whereby all Jews and Muslims were forced to convert or emigrate. The use of olive oil was replaced with pork and lard, signs that one had converted to Catholicism.