Thursday, May 24, 2007

Three new commercial olive groves in Britain!

In that part of the world that doesn't deny global warming, for example, Britain:
Faced with rising temperatures, farmers have to plan tree crops that can withstand a hotter climate. Already, the UK growing season has lengthened by about a month since 1900. By mid-century, maximum temperatures in southern counties will break through the 40C (104F) level, and by 2080, the South East could be as hot as Bordeaux is now.
With that change in focus, Britain is thinking about olives.

Britain warms to the taste for home-grown olives-News-Weather-TimesOnline:
The olive trees were imported from Tuscany, where they experience frost and snow in winter and high temperatures in summer. Drainage on the heavy Devon soil had to be improved, because olive trees are used to growing in thin, rocky soils. But with the rapidly warming climate, it is hoped the first commercial British olive crop will be harvested in a few years’ time.

Perhaps even more surprising, two commercial olive groves have been planted much further north, in Wales and Shropshire. Three hundred Italian olive trees were planted at Wroxeter Roman Vineyard, near Shrewsbury, and the first Welsh olive grove was begun in Anglesey.

Hat tip to The Foodie List for pointing me to this

Nearly 30% of entrys in LA Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition not Extra Virgin

The Sacramento Bee

Claims of oil fraud are tough to validate, since there's no industrywide testing program. But impostors show up even in prestigious competitions, said Darrell Corti, who runs Corti Brothers Market in Sacramento and is the chief judge of the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, the nation's biggest olive oil event.

In this year's contest, held last week, 118 of the 396 entrants didn't meet the extra-virgin grade's basic standards, Corti said.

Claudio Peri calls for higher quality designation than "extra virgin" for olive oil in California

The Sacramento Bee

Will American consumers pay more for olive oil that claims to be even more pristine than extra-virgin? Will they even be able to tell the difference?

With the value of the "extra-virgin" designation diluted by fraud and dozens of new California labels looking for a way to stand out in a tight market, some in the olive-oil business think it's time for a higher standard.

This week, Claudio Peri, a food science professor at the University of Milan and the founder of a movement he calls "Beyond Extra Virgin," is at the University of California, Davis, to sell his idea to California's emerging olive oil industry. A two-day conference wraps up today.

The problem, say Peri and many in the California olive oil industry, is that much -- if not most -- of the extra-virgin oil on the U.S. market doesn't deserve the label. Extra-virgin oil requires a strict harvest and processing regimen that yields certain flavor qualities recognizable to expert tasters. Many of the major label extra-virgin brands don't make the cut, they say.

"The globalization of the olive oil industry is homogenizing the market. It really depletes the average quality," said Peri, 69, in an interview Tuesday.


Extra-virgin or not, olive oil has become a hot item in U.S. supermarkets, with sales volume doubling from 1996 to 2006, to roughly 60 million gallons. The average American consumes just under a quart of olive oil a year; consumption in several Mediterranean countries is more than 12 times greater.


This year, the state's olive oil production is expected to be as much as 700,000 gallons, up nearly threefold since 2001.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Olive Oil Bar

Olive Oil Bar, originally uploaded by hyku.

Interesting setup... I'll have to think about this.

Olive Oil Table Spread - untested

I've never thought of this before, but I want to experiment with it... and I'm willing to ignore the "light-flavored" suggestion because I have access to some damn flavorful butter. Maybe a nice goat butter and a peppery, fruity olive oil.

Olive Oil Table Spread:
"500g (2 cups) of butter
1.5 cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (Make sure it is fairly light-flavored oil, otherwise the oil will overwhelm the butter taste)

Beat the butter in a food processor or Mixmaster until softened, then gradually add the olive oil.
When it is all completely blended, it will be quite pourable.

I pour it into individual containers and put lids on, then store them in the fridge.

When cold it is quite hard."

Italo-Californian Olive Oil Confernce Program

My god, I wish I could see this...

Freeborn Hall, UC DAVIS, May 22-23, 2007
May 22, 2007
The Olive Oil Production Chain: Challenges and Innovations
9:00 Opening.
Sharon Shoemaker, Executive Director, California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research
(CIFAR), University of California, Davis (UC Davis)
9:05 Official Welcome.
William Lacy, Vice Provost, University Outreach and International Programs, UC Davis
A.G. Kawamura, Secretary of Agriculture, State of California, Sacramento
Alessandro Terenghi, Chief Executive Officer, Alfa Laval - USA
Claudio Peri, President, Association TREE, Italy
9:40 Plenary: Introduction to Olive Oil Production in the World.
Paul Vossen, UC Extension Specialist, Sonoma and Marin Counties, Santa Rosa, CA
10:40 Break (displays, posters)
Session I: Charles Shoemaker, moderator
11:00 A Vision, a Name and a Strategy for Excellence in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Claudio Peri, President, Association TREE, Italy
11:40 Orchard Practices and Olive Oil Quality.
Paul Vossen, UC Extension Specialist, Sonoma and Marin Counties, Santa Rosa, CA
12:10 Olive Harvesting Mechanization Systems.
Alessandro Leone, Professor, University of Foggia, and Antonia Tamborrino, University of Bari, Italy
12:40 Lunch (displays, posters)
Session II: Dan Flynn, moderator
2:00 Innovation in Olive Oil Extraction Technology and Plants.
Lamberto Baccioni, General Manager, Olive Oil Division, Alfa Laval, Italy, and
Paolo Amirante, Professor, University of Bari, Italy
3:00 The Influence of Processing Operations on Olive Oil Quality: A Critical Review.
Maurizio Servili, Professor, University of Perugia, Italy
3:30 A Report on California Experiments with Different Olive Oil Mills.
Alexandra Devarenne, UC Extension Specialist, Sonoma and Marin Counties, Santa Rosa, CA
4:00 An Overview on Waste Water Treatment and Disposal.
Pasquale Catalano, Professor, University of Molise, Italy
4:30 New Trends in Olive Growing.
Riccardo Gucci, Professor, University of Pisa, Italy
5:00 Reception
May 23, 2007
Sensory & Nutritional Quality, and Preferences & Uses of Olive Oil
9:00 Opening.
Jean-Xavier Guinard, Associate Vice Provost, International Programs and professor, University of
California, Davis
Session III: Paul Vossen, moderator
9:05 The Universe of Olive Oil Quality: A Consumer-oriented Vision of Olive Oil Quality.
Charles Shoemaker, Professor, University of California, Davis and
Claudio Peri, President, Association TREE, Italy
9:40 The American Consumer’s Approach to Olive Oil.
Darrell Corti, Corti Bros., Sacramento, CA
10:10 Marketing California Olive Oil from a Producer’s Perspective.
Alan Greene, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, California Olive Ranch, Oroville, CA and President,
Board of Directors, California Olive Oil Council, Berkeley, CA
10:40 Break (displays, posters)
11:10 Olive Oil on the Table: a Point of View from Gastronomy and Food Service.
Bill Briwa, Chef Instructor, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena, CA
11:40 A Sense of Identity: The Sensory Profiles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Erminio Monteleone, Professor, University of Florence, Vice President of the Italian Society of
Sensory Science
12:10 Lunch (displays, posters)
Session IV: Darrell Corti, moderator
1:30 Two Tales of Olive Oil: Stories and Tastings from UC Davis and Fresno State.
Dan Flynn, Program Promotion Manager, UC Davis Olive Oil, Building and Grounds Division, and
Gino Favagrossa, Orchard Manager, College of Agriculture, Cal State University, Fresno
2:20 The Nutritional Quality of Olive Oil.
Bruce German, Professor, University of California, Davis
2:50 An up-to-date Report on Antioxidant Properties of Olive Oil.
Francesco Visioli, Professor, University of Milano, Italy
3:10 The Role of Olive Oil Phenols in Human Tumor Cells Proliferation and Differentiation.
Guido Morozzi, Professor, University of Perugia, Italy
3:30 A Guided Tasting Session on Italian and Californian Extra Virgin Olive Oils.
Leaders: Erminio Monteleone and Paul Vossen
4:30 Closing with Announcement of Date and Location for Next Conference.
5:00 Adjourn.
Accademia Dei Georgofili – Florence
Alfa Laval Olive Oil
Association TREE
California Olive Oil Council
Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
Enoteca Italiana di Siena
Fresno State Olive Oil
Province of Siena
University of California, Davis, CIFAR
University of California, Davis, Olive Oil
University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo, Italy
POSTERS as submitted