Nov 022012

One of the blogs I enjoy is by Lauren Aloise. The blog is named Spanish Sabores (Sabores means flavors).

Lauren quit her software development job last year and became a full-time travel blogger. Such fun!

Here is an article she wrote about her trip to Jaén, Spain where olives and olive oil are a way of life.

Highlights from Jaén: Land of Liquid Gold – Spanish Sabores

May the sun shine through your branches.

Apr 162012

Tomatoes and Olive Oil May Reduce Impotence” trumpeted an article in the Olive Oil Times. The title was an eye-catcher – begging to be read. So I did.

When I was done I checked the source link at the bottom of the page. The link took me to a website for a product called Aceiterol. What’s this, I thought. I know Aceiterol was mentioned in the article, but I was actually expecting to find a link to the touted research – nope.

The Aceiterol page was graced with pictures of little blister packs of organic extra virgin olive oil and tomato extract. The packs reminded me of the little containers of jellies, jams, marmalades, and fruit butters found at breakfast places around the country. I imagined spreading Aceiterol on toast. It might taste okay, I conjectured.

I was intrigued by the particularly ugly website hawking strange little tubs of what looked like runny ketchup. I continued to look for the impotence relief research. I clicked around from page to page waiting for the translator to complete its task before I could read the contents. My Spanish is limited to written instructions not to spit on the bus floor and to fasten my seat belt while in flight and people yelling “venga” (pronounced benga) at me. The last bit of Spanish is from the playgrounds of Saint Juliana’s elementary school in West Palm Beach, Florida. Many of my friends were Cuban refugees and “benga” was a common command as we ran in herds around the playground.

I found information about inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular disease, the Mediterranean Diet, and lots of other health claims. That’s a lot of claiming for a condiment, I thought.

Finally I hit upon the page with the news articles. There was a picture of a young, very young, couple looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. Just above their heads was this: “A Spanish study reveals that this powerful antioxidant blend of olive oil improves erectile dysfunction in men. Previous studies demonstrated the benefits of these substances against prostate cancer.” I had arrived.

I eagerly looked for the research and this is what I found.

  • Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant.
  • It gives better blood circulation.
  • You can buy it in a pharmacy.
  • It’s not Viagra but it kind of does the same thing.
  • Aceiterol received an award in the condiment category at the 2012 INFARMA Fair.

None of those statements, singly or collectively, make much sense. It appeared to me that in addition to using suspicious science there was some additional truth-stretching going on.

There was absolutely no link to a research study, just a mention that there was a privately-financed research study resulting in erections. Aren’t there some European Union restrictions now with regard to health claims? My research says – yes. The only olive oil health claims that are permitted by EU member countries are those related to human blood cholesterol concentrations.

Here is all that I could glean about the actual study. Some men in Spain with mild erectile dysfunction who were over 50 years of age ingested Aceiterol for three months. At the end of three months they had mild improvement and success was declared.

I have some ideas about how the study was conducted, but I am trying to keep it clean.

May the sun shine through your branches (stiff or not).

Nov 192011

Here is a video from Reuters News Service entitled: “Spain’s olive industry looks overseas to combat crisis”.

Spanish olive oil producer Acesur is the featured company interviewed to illustrate the problems faced by Spain’s olive industry. Growth for Acesur is coming from exports since the domestic market is depressed by the euro zone crisis. Spain’s fortunes may be determined abroad.

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.