Daily Archives: August 24, 2013

  • Farmers' Market recipe: Greek Panzanella with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    GREEK PANZANELLA

    Serves 6 to 8

    3 to 5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 loaf sourdough bread, cut in 1-inch cubes
    Salt
    1 cucumber, seeded, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced
    1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
    1/2 red onion, sliced
    1/2 pound crumbled feta
    1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives

    Vinagrette:

    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Preparation:

    1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook, tossing frequently, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. You may need to add more oil.

    2. In a large salad bowl, toss the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion.

    3. For the vinaigrette, whisk the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil to make an emulsion.

    4. Pour vinaigrette over vegetables. Add feta, olives and bread cubes; toss gently. Let sit for 30 minutes, then serve.

    Recipe courtesy of Kayti Mangan of Fremont source

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    Rating: 6.8/10 (9 votes cast)
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    GREEK PANZANELLA Serves 6 to 8 3 to 5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 loaf sourdough bread, cut in 1-inch cubes Salt 1 cucumber, seeded, sliced 1/4 inch thick 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved 1/2 red onion, sliced 1/2 pound crumbled... 
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  • Olive oil producers are concerned about the UK’s traffic-light food labelling system

    Olive oil producers and other European food industry members have said they’re concerned about the UK’s traffic-light food labelling system because their products would be labelled as unhealthy.

    But nutrition labels are seen in some circles as important in providing dietary information to help consumers make informed healthy food choices. Labels may be the only source of nutritional information available to the consumer at the point of purchase, therefore it’s important the information is easy to find, read, interpret and understand.

    More than 130 UK food businesses now display display nutrition information voluntarily. Currently four main formats are used in the UK, and these have many hybrids.

    Over the past decade, many studies investigating consumer understanding of nutrition labelling have been carried out in the UK and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) led a series of studies in 2009-10 with consumers and industry stakeholders to consider the standardisation of labelling on front of packs.

    This led to the key elements considered important by consumers: guideline daily amounts (GDA), traffic light colours, nutritional values as text, standardised portion sizes and values per 100g.

    In June 2010 the European Parliament backed a proposal for more uniform food labelling in the European Union. They rejected the traffic light colour coding system, opting instead for GDAs for front of pack nutrition labelling in line with the majority of current food industry practice in the UK and Europe.

    Now, we finally seem to have got agreement in the UK, and for the first time the major retailers are working with the FSA and Department of Health and have come up with an agreed front of pack labeling system.

    GDAs will be replaced by reference intakes and detailed industry specific guidelines have been prepared, with defined limits of what may be considered a low, medium and high with different cut off points for food and drinks.

    The UK food industry has been preparing for this move for a number of years and has been busy reformulating products so that they are less in the red zone, for example using salt substitutes in foods and the addition of sugar substitutes to fizzy drinks.

    And with the amount of information that supermarkets have on our shopping habits, it can’t be too long before they are using data analytics from labelling information to help steer us in healthier directions.

    But it’s not completely straightforward. For example, olive oil, despite it being widely considered as a healthy choice because it’s high in unsaturated fats, would still be labelled with a red light.

    Other products such as cheese and butter would also come under red. Tthe guidance recognises this and notes that these and other products such as nuts and oily fish will have a red light due to the presence of naturally occurring fats. It is recommended that these products state the amount of saturated fats, to indicate to consumers the balance of fats and also highlight particular benefits of their products in line with EU Health claims.

    Whether we chose to differentiate between different red light foods remains to be seen. We are human after all.

    Article “Some food will always get a red light (but we can still eat it)”source theconversation

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    Olive oil producers and other European food industry members have said they’re concerned about the UK’s traffic-light food labelling system because their products would be labelled as unhealthy. But nutrition labels are seen in some circles as important in providing dietary... 
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  • Australian Olive Oil Producer Success Story

    Justine George, “Tanglewood”, Moonbi, has taken a different approach to olive oil production, working on a biennial fruit cropping system to maximise production.

    FRESH is best for Moonbi olive oil producer Justine George, “Tanglewood”.
    Mrs George and her husband David produce olive oil at their 400-tree grove north of Tamworth and recently won best oil by a local producer at the NSW Northern Olive Oil Show, as well as picking up bronze and silver medals for their products.

    Mrs George said freshness was a key part of what made their oil special – after being handpicked by the George family, the olives can be at the processing plant in nearby Limbri on the same day and that translated into better quality, fresher oil.

    “The fruit’s not sitting around getting damaged,” she said.

    “A lot of people have a lot of cartage and then the crop has to wait in line to be processed and that’s where the quality drops.”

    The Georges produce extra virgin oil which is sold at local markets and at events such as Sydney Royal.

    She said a bit of herself and her family went into every bottle.

    “Being boutique, we’re very hands-on and probably very labour intensive,” she said.

    “I like that, because I can see it from the moment it’s on the tree to the time we pick it, grade it and send it off.”

    The Georges have used commercial harvesters in the past but have gone back to picking the olives by hand, using small rakes and caught in nets.

    While son Conrad said the picking could be “tedious”, Mrs George said it was good old-fashioned (mandatory) family fun.

    Mrs George then grades the fruit, checking for any impurities or imperfections.

    Leaves are removed, the fruit is crated and sent for processing where it is washed in tepid water to be cleaned of any dust.

    The fruit is then pressed and the oil left to stand for at least two months to allow olive fragments to settle.

    The resulting oil is stored in stainless steel containers before it is taken back to “Tanglewood” to be bottled.

    She said correct storage was one of the most important aspects of the oil making process.

    “Olive oil will absorb anything you put with it – it’s amazing like that,” she said.

    “So even in storage, you need to make sure no light or air gets to it.”

    She said the oil would store well for up to two years but was best consumed within three months of harvest.

    Olive trees at the “Tanglewood” grove were 15 years old and were irrigated in September most years.

    “Olive trees are pretty special because as they bear fruit one year the new growth has already started for the next year, so you need water not just to produce the fruit for the current year but also to encourage the next crop,” Mrs George said.

    The amount of water used depended on the season and the look of the trees – whether they’re stressed or whether they’re healthy, she said.

    The biennial growing cycle of olives meant many Australian groves in which trees were all the same age produced good yields of fruit one year followed by virtually none the next.

    Mrs George said she was trying to overcome the “feast or famine” scenario by pruning trees so half would bear fruit one year and the other half the following.

    While the operation was not organically certified, Mrs George said she tried to avoid the use of chemicals.

    The trees begin flowering about five months before harvest which begins in April and can last until June.

    Harvesting for a period of several months gave the oil different tastes, dependent on what point in the growing cycle the fruit was harvested, Mrs George said.

    “We like a softer, fruity oil so we tend to do a late harvest,” she said.

    “We get more mature fruit so you have to be more gentle with it.”

    Fruit from earlier harvests tended to make punchier, more pungent

    oils.

    The Georges’ oil is predominantly made from Frantoio olives which Mrs George said had been “magnificent” this year, yielding 27 per cent oil.

    Kalamata olives were also grown at “Tanglewood”.

    A damaging hail storm late last year coupled with fast maturing fruit meant production was down from a normal annual yield of between 600 to 800 litres to just 300L this season.

    Article source TheLand

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    Rating: 3.6/10 (11 votes cast)
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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    Justine George, “Tanglewood”, Moonbi, has taken a different approach to olive oil production, working on a biennial fruit cropping system to maximise production. FRESH is best for Moonbi olive oil producer Justine George, “Tanglewood”. Mrs George and her husband... 
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