Daily Archives: September 6, 2015

  • San Diego Archaeological Center announces Ancient Indulgences: Olive Oil

    Ancient Indulgences: Olive Oil, the second of a series of events about the history of life’s little pleasures on Saturday, September 26, 2015, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

    The event will be held at the San Diego Archaeological Center located at 16666 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027.

    The domestication of olives in the Mediterranean region occurred approximately 8,000 years ago. The oil from the olive was one of several characteristics that made the fruit attractive enough to result in its domestication. Yet, it was the deliberate pressing of oil out of olives that was revolutionary and led to significant cultural and socio-economic changes throughout the region.

    Olive oil became an important source of fuel but also had uses in healing, cooking, and was an essential component in ritual practice. Many of these uses are still around today making olive oil one of the most important staples of the modern household.

    Adolfo Muniz, PhD will present a lecture on the archaeological evidence of olive oil domestication. After the lecture, mingle with others while enjoying red and white Southern California wines provided by Halter Ranch Vineyard and olive oil and delicious breads from Whole Foods Encinitas.

    You can also enter a silent auction for a chance to win amazing olive oils and tickets to the San Diego Museum of Man and San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum.

    Admission: 21 and over only
    $20 for members
    $25 for non-members

    Space is limited and you must register in advance. Spots are filling up, so book your ticket now!

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    Ancient Indulgences: Olive Oil, the second of a series of events about the history of life’s little pleasures on Saturday, September 26, 2015, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will be held at the San Diego Archaeological Center located at 16666 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido,... 
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  • Slovenian olive oil is only now being recognized internationally for its excellence

    Olive growing in Slovenia’s Littoral (Primorska) region has a long history. However, after years of neglect, Slovenian olive oil is only now being recognized internationally for its excellence.

    Even in Roman times, olive growing was widespread in what is now southwestern Slovenia. Olive oil was one of the most important traditional products of the area, and by the 19th century, almost every village in Slovenian Istria had an olive press. In the 20th century, however, various factors led to a decline in olive oil production. Industrialization resulted in a decline in rural population, and a series of frosts substantially reduced the number of olive trees.

    After World War II, the Communist authorities did establish several olive-growing cooperatives, but the production of olive oil was never considered a priority. The production of sunflower oil was considered more important, and Slovenian olive oil became a rare commodity.

    As late as in 2006, an otherwise comprehensive Dorling-Kindersley guide to olive oil essentially ignored Slovenian oil, merely noting that Slovenian supermarkets were full of imported varieties. The book was right; for years, Slovenian shoppers could choose between Spanish, Italian, and Greek olive oil, but Slovenian oil was difficult to obtain.

    But even as the book hit the shelves, change was underway among Slovenia’s olive groves. An increasing realization of the quality of Slovenian oil has led many producers to begin marketing small quantities of top-notch olive oil. The results soon began to pay off. Slovenian olive growers soon started to receive awards at international olive oil exhibitions, such as the prestigious SOL fair in Verona, Italy. Since Slovenia’s olive groves are among the most northerly in Europe, the country olive oil is known for its strong taste, which soon became highly prized among connoisseurs.

    In the wake of the enthusiastic international reception, Slovenian olive growers began to increase the production of oil. The growth was also encouraged by changing trends in Slovenian cooking, with a renewed popularity of Mediterranean dishes and products from the Slovenian countryside. In recent years, new olive groves have even begun to appear in the northerly Goriška Brda region, where they were previously exceedingly rare.

    Slovenian olive oil is still less common than imported varieties, and because it’s produced in limited quantities, it often carries a higher price tag. However, it’s very poplar among many Slovenian consumers, who prize it not just for its quality but are also determined to support a product that has shaped the culture and the history of southwestern Sloveni

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    Olive growing in Slovenia’s Littoral (Primorska) region has a long history. However, after years of neglect, Slovenian olive oil is only now being recognized internationally for its excellence. Even in Roman times, olive growing was widespread in what is now southwestern Slovenia.... 
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