Apr 262013

I thought I’d show some love to the olive industry in the southern hemisphere. Harvesting has begun and will continue for a couple more months depending on several factors like region, weather, labor, equipment, cultivar, fruit maturity, and product (table olives or extra virgin olive oil).

Here, listed in alphabetical order, are the countries on the south side that have active olive-related trade associations and websites. There are other countries in the southern hemisphere that grow olives and produce table olives and olive oil, but for various reasons do not have active industry organizations.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Nov 052012
Olive Festival Location on Waiheke Island, New Zealand

If you are in the Auckland, New Zealand area on Saturday and Sunday November 24th and 25th take the ferry to Waiheke Island for the Waiheke Olive and Artisan Food Festival. There will be award-winning, fresh 2012 extra virgin olive oils.

Welcome To The Waiheke Island Olive Festival

May the sun shine through your branches.


Nov 062011

Every day I read lots of material about the olive, some from books and others from the internet. Each week I share with you the articles, recipes, research documents, and other information I find on the internet. Most of it is very interesting and some of it inspires me to write an article or two of my own. None of these links are in any way my opinion or are endorsed by me. I am sharing.

Olive Links of the Week

Artisans: The flavours of Italy in our backyard
New Zealand Herald
The Chinnerys of Mangawhai, NZ are featured along with their award winning Divinity extra virgin olive oil.

Thurman: Specialty food scene gets a shot of spice
Argus Leader
Sandra Reynolds opens the Olive Destination in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Aussie Standard Wrapped, Paul Miller Pitches New World Olive Oil Quality ‘Alliance’
The Olive Oil Times
Paul Miller of the Australian Olive Association is featured.

Gong for Cradle Coast Olives
Weekly Times Now
Tasmania’s Cradle Coast Olives wins Australian Olive Association competition, Best in Show.

Recipe: Carrots, vinegar, evoo, honey & cumin
Cookteaser Blog
This is an adaptation of a Mario Batali recipe.

“Franken-Lime” Persian Lime EVOO Cupcakes & Your Chance To Win!
Devo Olive Oil Co.
Ignore the Halloween stuff, I like this recipe.

“The Crushed Olive” Opens in Stony Brook Village
News LI
Stony Brook on Long Island is host to the newly opened The Crushed Olive.

Phoenix chef honors locally produced food
AZ Central
Chef Dustin Christofolo is a disciple of the farm to table movement.

Gruppo Pieralisi Powers World’s Largest Olive Oil Mill in Jaén
The Olive Oil Times
This is one huge mill. I also like this article because I can’t resist the usual cast of crusty old European men, who if it weren’t for the cigars and grappa would look their ages – 38. The Padres are there too. Amen.

Harvest Festivals Part 1 | Three Picks From the Season of Plenty
Just Luxe Affluent Lifestyle Guide
Three upcoming harvest festivals. I think the non-luxe crowd is invited too.

Record entries to gourmet oil competition
New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition just completed it’s eighth competition.

California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cooking with Amy Blog
Amy visit the California Olive Ranch.

Bumper olive crop expected in Syria
All Headline News
Syria’s bumper crop of olives may be hampered by ongoing unrest and the Eid al-Adha holiday.

Milk wars claim first casualty
Sydney Morning Herald
Price wars are coming for many products, olive oil included.

‘No room to cut olive oil prices’
Ynet News
Taxes, subsidies, and price wars in Israel. It’s everywhere folks.

Love Me Tender: Church View’s new range of English Angus Beef
The British food bandwagon – it’s all about rapeseed now, not olive oil.

Olive oil exports up in Almeria
Euro Weekly News
And where is this olive oil headed – to Switzerland.

Olive war pits settlers against farmers
The Montreal Gazette
The UN says 7,500 trees have been damaged so far this year in Palestine.

Olive yield down but farmers look to next year’s harvest
The Daily Star Lebanon
Two week harvesting delay caused up to 50% decrease in crop yield some Lebanese farmers say.

Master Gardener: Olive fruit fly can decimate an olive crop
Mercury News
This is no doubt a question from a non-farmer. This worries me since the olive fruit fly moves fast and will destroy California olive crops. It is incredibly expensive to treat non-commercial trees.

A Perspective on Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Premium Quality: California olive oils
A report from Liliana Scarafia at Agbiolab. Very interesting.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Jun 012011

When people buy olive oil they want to know the quality of the oil they are actually paying for. Consumers want real standards, not marketing baloney dressed up to look like standards.

This month, Australia and New Zealand begin putting olive oil standards into place. Now consumers in those two countries don’t have to scratch their heads and wonder what “light” or “pure” olive oil means. “Light” and “pure” are fake marketing terms that mean absolutely nothing, at least when it comes to olive oil. The terms that do mean something are: Extra Virgin, Virgin, Refined, and Pomace. There are variations on these, but the terms actually mean something.

When I wrote the article Olive Oil Standards Get a Facelift, I was talking about the U.S. standards, which are very lame. The U.S. has lots of work to do when it comes to recognizing that their olive oil industry is a liquid gold mine, and that strong consumer and grower protection standards will protect the U.S. olive and olive oil industry, but that’s a story for another day. Bravo to Australia and New Zealand for thinking ahead.

The International Olive Council isn’t happy about the new AU/NZ standards, ’cause they’re busy trying to protect the exports of their few original member countries whose government-subsidized olive oil pricing structures are going away. The IOC is big on quality, but not when it comes to their core membership, and when their member countries’ Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) gets “busted” in lab and sensory testing the IOC Executive Director (the latest is Jean-Louis Barjol of France) pitches a fit and blames the countries who are looking out for their consumers.

Australia and New Zealand may not be doing it exactly “like it has always been done”, but they are doing what is right for their consumers.

May the sun shine through your branches.