Dec 182011

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

Book Review: Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller
Bloomberg Businessweek
An interesting book review.

For Pipes Canyon remodelers, a high desert holiday
Los Angeles Times
A Pipes Canyon shack remodeled into a lovely pueblo-style home with a desert-lush garden which includes olive trees.

Corning installs way-finding signs
Red Bluff Daily News
Corning, California in Tehama County adds lots of olive specific signage for tourists. The idea was first proposed by Dewey Lucero of Lucero Olive Oil. He and other locals want Corning to become the Napa of the California Olive and Olive Oil Industries.

Festival to highlight Texas olive oil industry
The Monitor
Too bad this festival already happened, but it’s good to keep up with olive related activities around the world. There’s always next year.

Plenty of Peppers, Pickles and Oils
The New York Times
Mouth watering goodies for sale at three Long Island specialty food stores: Pepperheads, Pickle Packin’ Papa, and the Crushed Olive.

Peaches, peanuts, olive oil? Farmers enjoy fruits of Georgia’s 1st olive crop since the 1800s
The Washington Post
Georgia’s first harvest in hundreds of years yields 500 375ml bottles of olive oil. I hope the Shaws’ investment pays off for them and consumers who want fresh, local olive oil.

Fogassin with extra-virgin olive oil
Turrio Olive Oil
Make this hardy Italian cake.

The Núñez de Prado Obession with Perfection
The Olive Oil Times
A trip to Baena Spain and an interview with Felipe Núñez de Prado about his family’s 216 year old olive oil business.

LLG Food: Elanthy Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Liberty London Girl blog
An English fashion writer living in Manhattan shops for Christmas gifts and chooses Greek olive oil.

Happy sustainable Christmas
The Mercury
I like articles about what folks are doing in the “sustainable” world even though I am not yet a practicing sustainer. Maybe one day.

French Consumer Magazine Compares Olive Oils, Finds Local Ones Better
The Olive Oil Times
If you can read French, and I can, using a rusty combo of school, business, and military learning, then make sure to click on the grey link at the bottom of the article entitled “Sources: Que Choisir Test Results”. At the Que Choisir website you can see  some free parts of the study broken down in sections. The whole thing – you gotta pay for.

Losing ‘Virginity’: Olive Oil’s ‘Scandalous’ Fraud
National Public Radio
Terry Gross interviews Tom Mueller, author of “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil”. For those of us who are auditory learners make sure to click on the “Listen to the Story” button.

Alternatively Speaking: The other ‘miracles’ of oil
The Jerusalem Post
Oily alternative cures.

Olive oil brands using new variants to drive volumes
Financial Chronicle
More on the olive oil blending in India. If it’s correctly labelled and no one is getting fooled by nonsense promises then so what.

Study of Greek Olive Oil Sector Urges Producers to ‘Standardize’
The Olive Oil Times
A suggested fix for Greek olive oil sector.

Holiday Baking with EVOO: Rosemary-Lemon Glazed Bundt Cake
We Olive

Can You Trust Your Olive Oil?
The article mentions the America’s Test Kitchen recommendations for off-the-shelf evoo. Having watched the program often I know that they probably selected the test olive oils from a bunch of not-so-hot choices. The tasting is very subjective and the tasters are not sensory specialists. With any living food each batch is different – sometimes slightly, sometimes hugely. The Colavita evoo you bought or tested last year is not the Colavita evoo you bought or tested today.

Olive Odyssey Completed!!
Angus Adventures blog
A little about olive tree DNA and other olive subjects.

Tapping the potential of homegrown olives
Stuff NZ
New Zealand olive oil producers have a local marketing problem.

Global Olive Oil Consumption Forecast to Climb, Led by U.S., China, Brazil
The Olive Oil Times
US leads in consumption of olive oil. I know I do my share.

Pompeian Olive Oil
Quality Assurance & Food Safety Magazine
Here is an enlightened quote from Pompeian President Frank Patton, “It’s difficult to adulterate an olive.” Now I know why Pompeian tastes like crap. I think it’s really funny that this quote is in a magazine that deals solely with food safety and quality assurance in the food industry.

Getting off the slippery slope in Spain
The Olive Press (Spanish English language website)
Andalucia has a huge erosion problem. Too many people, poor cultivation, and little ground cover can have disasterous results. This happens all the time and no one ever learns.

Jewish Extremists a Growing Israeli Concern
I’m just going to stop commenting on this stuff.

Market Watch: Olive oil, from the hills of Topanga
Los Angeles Times
Check out Robinson Road Olive Ranch website.

Olives make for perfect nibbles
Nibble – nibble.

Conversation grows 
about Georgia olives
Atlanta Journal and Constitution
The latest on olives and olive oil in Georgia.

May the sun shine through your branches.

Dec 112011

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

Edible gifts can satisfy every taste
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For those of you who buy gifts for people who love to eat.

Locally Sourced Jordanian Olive Oil Factory Tour at Terra Rossa
Jen Maan in Amman blog
Jen visits a Jordanian olive oil processing facility. She has lots of great photos.

Boost your ‘good fats’ to help fend off diabetes
More on MUFAs and diabetes.

Sovena USA First Ever Lab to be Certified by International Olive Council in United States
PR Newswire
Largest US olive oil importers gets their lab certified by the International Olive Council.

Namibia: Local Olive Oil Takes Market By Storm
All Africa
Swakop River Olives entrepreneurs Eddie Angula and Wim van der Plaas are growing trees along Namibia’s Swakop river. Of interest is that they grew them from seeds purchased from South Africa. I don’t often hear of olive trees grown from seed.

VN Dalmia Offers an Olive Oil Reality Check
Olive Oil Times
India is marketing olive pomace oil to the Indian marketplace. If that is what the market demands then that’s okay. The key is truth in advertising.

Olive oils can prevent infantile diseases
Teatro Naturale International
According to many physicians and scientists, such as the pediatrician and neonatologist Giuseppe Caramia, extra virgin olive oils are important ingredients of preventive medicine.

Attack on olive oil consumption in Denmark
Teatro Naturale International
Denmark has a problem with obesity and is instituting a 7.1 % tax on each liter of olive oil. Is this ignorance or maybe a powerful dairy lobby?

Canton business offers imported oils, vinegars, gourmet foods
Watertown Daily News
Josie’s Little Pizzeria and Josie’s Olive Oil Company are selling California olive oils in Canton, New York.

Slick accents welcome on Oenotri’s dinner plate
Napa Valley Register
Oenotri’s restaurant in Napa has fresh extra virgin olive oils on the menu.

New Olive Pilot Crop Insurance Program Approved for Selected Counties in California
Insurance News Net
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announces a new a pilot insurance program for table and oil olives in 12 California counties, beginning with the 2012 crop year. The sales closing date is January 31, 2012.

China could be strong S.J. farm market
Chinese delegation visits Lodi, California. China’s burgeoning economy and rapidly expanding middle class hold great potential for sales of premium San Joaquin County products – including wine, cherries, tree nuts and olive oil.

Critical Information for Olive Oil Decision Makers
The Olive Oil Times
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California’s Napa Valley will host a seminar on January 12th for industry professionals. They will receive the information needed to protect themselves and their customers by learning.what constitutes quality olive oil.

Banks squeeze oil industry
Weekly Times Now
Australian banks unwilling to make loans to olive oil producers. Dumping is to blame.

Olive oil producers feel price pain
Weekly Times Now
Lisa Rowntree of the Australian Olive Association weighs in on olive oil price wars.

Olive Oil’s Growers, Chemists, Cooks and Crooks
The New York Times Books section
A review of Tom Mueller’s olive oil industry expose, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil

Chosen Bites: A hearty dish!
The Jerusalem Post
Recipes for Sautéed Butternut Squash, Kale with Pasta and Mushrooms and Turkey Meatballs.

Dining Out review: Schnitz Ada Grill offers good value, good food
A review of the Schnitz Ada Grill in downtown Ada, Michigan.

May the sun shine through your branches.

Nov 132011

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

Journalist Tom Mueller will hold the world release of his new book  Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil on November 29, 2011 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the UC Davis Conference Center. Click here for more information and here to make reservations.

Spain’s Olive Harvest Marked by Lower Yields, Too Many Workers
The Olive Oil Times
Spain is poised to harvest olives, but did adverse weather conditions effect oil flavor and quality?

In Dookie, cream of the crop sows seeds of innovation
The Age
Olives aren’t new to Australia. Dookie agricultural college in northern Victoria has a 110 year old olive grove just inside it’s front gate.

Cambridge, Massachusetts award-winning restaurant EVOO is hiring dinner line cooks.
Craig’s List Boston
I wish I saw this sooner. Quick – send in your resume.

Of bio and brothels
The American Magazine
Find out about “bio” and what it means. Also, here’s another recipe for Spaghetti alla puttanesca.

Syria expects Record Olive Oil Production
Day Press News
Even though olives and olive oil are staples of the Syrian diet harvesting is woefully antiquated.

Syria Expects Record Olive Oil Production Amid Political Unrest
The Olive Oil Times
More on Syria.

Olea Farm olive oil is a growing biz
San Luis Obispo The Tribune
Clotilde Julien, owner of Olea Farm in Templeton California and her husband, Yves Julien have started a new business, Mill on Wheels. This mobile mill can process about two tons of olives an hour.

Dress up summer salads
Adelaide Now
Here are some salad dressings for those of you on the planetary southside who are now enjoying fresh vegies and for those of us on the northside who need to add some flavor to the hydroponically-grown greens now on display at the grocery.

A short guide to oil dressings
Teatro Naturale International
A new olive oil guide from authors Luigi Caricato and chef, Giuseppe Capano.

NOW EAT THIS: Rocco DiSpirito says you can have your cordon bleu and eat it, too
The Washington Post Lifestyle section
Chicken cordon bleu rollups – the butter is replaced with olive oil.

Olive oil flows at Pacific Sun Farms on annual community day
Corning Observer
Pacific Sun Farms doesn’t commercially grow olives but they will press them for folks on community day.

New olive oil regulations
Weekly Times Now
Australia’s new olive oil standard inspires others around the world.

Get the facts on fats
The Kansas City Star
Eat your monounsaturated fats.

Will the real Extra-Virgin Olive Oil please stand up!
Melting Pot Tours
An olive oil tour in California.

Olive oil prices stall
Weekly Times Now
Food prices going up, but not olive oil.

The Art of Olive Oil Tasting
Just Luxe
Hold an olive oil tasting.

The International Olive Council will host a seminar on olive cultivation systems and olive oil quality at it’s Madrid headquarters from December 12th to 16th, 2011.

For olive farmers, Eid holiday an opportunity to harvest
The Jordan Times
Kids are off school for the eight day holiday so more harvesting can get done.

May the sun shine through your branches.

Oct 302011

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

Savoring Tuscany
EVOO Cannon Beach
A segment from Oregon’s EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School’s blog by Bob Neroni. Bob and partner, Lenore Emery, have an interesting website and I enjoy Bob’s blog.

Olive Oil Industry Groups Reject Proposals for CAP Reform
The Olive Oil Times
Out of this article the following statement is what interested me most, maybe it’s because I’m a lobbyist. “Andalusia’s Minister for Agriculture and Fishing, Clara Aguilera, announced last week she hoped to form a lobby group of the main EU olive oil producers – France, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Spain – to jointly defend the sector’s interests.”

Israel gifts pope with olive tree
JTA news service
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is giving a 200 year old olive tree to Pope Benedict XVI. I wonder where he will plant it.

My Three Favorite Appetizers, I Think
6th Floor Blogs from the NY Times
All good things go with olive oil.

California Olive Oil: The New Gold Rush?
Neon Tommy
Another spin on California olive oils vs. European.

Farm-fresh chicken without the hassle, mess of DIY (Chili Rubbed Chicken Recipe)
This recipe has a delicious south-west flavor.

Grapevine: More than just an olive branch
The Jerusalem Post
This article has the answer to where the Pope is going to put his new old olive tree.

Olive industry attacks Coles and Woolworths over labelling
ABC Rural News (Australia)
Naughty – naughty, Coles and Woolworths aren’t following new Australian olive oil labelling rules.

U.S. Customs finds olive fruit flies in San Diego
North County Times
California olive crop is again battling olive fruit fly. A Lebanese traveller was caught by US Customs with olives infested with the fly.

Test kitchen bonus: A trio of flavorful stone crab recipes
The Orlando Sentinel
Some great crab recipes from the Sentinel’s Test Kitchen.

Cookbook: Olive Oil for Life
Santa Barbara Independent
Global Gardens Owner, Theo Stephan, Releases New Cookbook.

End of the road for Colavita/Forno D’Asolo
Pro Cycling News
Colavita has pulled it’s support for the US International Cycling Union (UCI) Colavita/Forno D’Asolo Women’s Professional Cycling Team. Why the women’s team? Colavita allegedly lost supplier support for the venture. The rest of the “why” I don’t know.

Egg for beauty
Arab Times
An easy and great feeling egg and olive oil facial treatment. It really does work.

Sweet on olive oil? Bake cakes with this healthy ingredient
Four delicious recipes are in this article: Chocolate olive cupcakes, berry compote, lemon olive oil cake, and orange olive oil cake.

Oliana Premium Olive Oils and Vinegars
A website from a store in West Hollywood, California that I thought might be interesting to peruse.

Flos Olei Guide Awards Sicily’s Titone Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year
The Olive Oil Times
Azienda Agricola Biologica Titone was awarded Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year. Founded in 1936, the Titone family’s farm in Sicily grows Cerasuola, Nocellara del Belice and Biancolilla cultivars on 4,900 trees to produce about 4,000 liters of organic extra virgin.

Restaurant review: Al Cavaliere in Clifton, New Jersey
Hot bread and extra virgin olive oil for starters – yum.

The Sydney Morning Herald Traveller section
Descriptions of some really nice places to get away.

Gino Venitucci knows how to make money in growing olive trees
Dayton section of Your Houston News
Mr. Venitucci is an optimist despite the plight of the farmer.

The Chef’s Olive Mix will bring quality olive oil to Sacramento, owner says
Sacramento Press
Fresh olive oils are coming for you to taste and buy in old Sacramento.

May the sun shine through your branches.

Oct 282011

The weather is cooling here on the planetary topside. My husband’s cousin, Bill, in New Jersey slipped on a patch of ice today. And I’m thinking about Sunday Gravy.

Sunday Gravy is Italian and I am not, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to stand around in the kitchen for hours, chopping, frying, stirring, and tasting. I am powerless to the siren song of the Gravy burbling in a big pot.

I certainly did not come upon this desire to cook and eat Sunday Gravy naturally. My Mom was a 1950’s, college-degreed, home economist and health food fanatic, and my Dad, the sometimes family cook, made scary meals that usually ended up with a beer poured into them. Dad was also the family breakfast cook, but I don’t recall any beer in my grits or oatmeal. My sisters, brothers and I would surely have been sent home from whichever saint-named school we were attending at the time, or maybe not.

As far as I can recall, one day I started making what turned out to be Sunday Gravy and I was hooked. I don’t make it too often though. It takes a long time to prepare and it’s very fatty, which of course makes it taste good.

Olive Crazy’s Sunday Gravy and Meatballs

Notes: I don’t ever measure anything for the Gravy, but I do for the Meatballs. For the Gravy I switch out the meats I use, but stick to the basic meat formula of pork, beef, and Italian sausages. For the Meatballs, I always prefer a mix of ground pork and ground beef. Tomato paste is a thickener and flavor enhancer so don’t use much. I have never needed to use more than one small can. Of the herbs used in the recipes, I use both fresh and dried in the Gravy and the Meatballs.


Olive oil
Meaty pork pieces and pork bones
Meaty beef pieces and beef bones
Italian sausages
Red wine (one you would enjoy drinking)
Tomato paste
Peeled, seeded tomatoes
Italian parsley


Olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
2 lrg eggs
1/2 c Italian bread crumbs (I buy canned at the grocery store)
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 c freshly grated Parmigiano or other hard cheese

Begin with the gravy. Place a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium heat and wait until the bottom of the pot is warm. Add olive oil. Before adding the meats make sure you’ve patted them dry. Add pork pieces and bones and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate or bowl. Repeat for beef and beef bones, then for sausages. Drain fat.

Lower heat and let pot cool a little. Add olive oil and then the garlic. Move garlic around for a few seconds and add red wine and tomato paste. Increase temperature to medium high and stir continuously for a few minutes. This is where you dredge up all the caramelized, meaty goodness from the bottom of your pot and incorporate it into the sauce. Add tomatoes, stir, and break them up.

Beginning now and throughout the cooking process, if sauce gets too thick, add water, but don’t make it soupy. Add salt, pepper, parsley, basil, and oregano. Return meat and bones, but not sausages, to the pot. Decrease temperature to low, partially cover pot, and stir occasionally.

Start making meatballs. Put all meatball ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix with clean, slightly olive-oiled hands. The olive oil on your hands keeps the meat from sticking to you. Make golf ball-sized meatballs. In a skillet, over medium to medium high heat, add olive oil and brown meatballs without cooking them all the way through.

When the meat in the pot easily falls apart, about two hours, add in sausages and meatballs, check the consistency of the liquid and add water as needed (don’t get carried away), and stir occasionally for another hour.

Remove all the bones, meats, sausages, and meatballs. Throw away the bones, and set the rest aside to serve after the pasta course or to use in another dish. As an Italian friend informed me – meat is eaten after pasta, not at the same time.

Toss pasta with the Sunday Gravy and serve.

May the sun shine through your branches.