News & Articles

  • China has initiated consuming olive oil and boosts the world’s production

    After two historical years of imports where China purchased 46.000 tonnes during the 2011/2012 season, purchases dropped up to 35,000 tonnes for the biennium 2013/2015. The 2015/2016 period was a recovery period with an increase of 12% and purchases of more than 40,000 tonnes, while during the first seven months of the 2016/2017 season, the increase amounted to around 17%, which is a historic record of purchasers from overseas, according to figures from the International Olive Council (IOC).

    With the latest available data from the 2015/2016 period, Spain took up 80% of the sales with more than 32,100 tonnes, followed by Italy with 13% with a little more than 4,000 tonnes; Greece with 2%, around 800 tonnes and with a little more than 2.000 tonnes; and 5% shared between Australia, Tunisia, Morocco and Turkey, in that order. 77% of the sales correspond to extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil, followed by olive pomace oil by 14%, while the remaining 9% corresponds to refined olive oil.

    In general, the Chinese climate is not Mediterranean; winters are often cold and dry and summers are rainy, therefore most part of their lands are not particularly suitable for the olive groves’ cultivation

    However, some of their highest surfaces such as Sichuan have mild temperatures during winter and more hours of sunshine, so cultivation of certain varieties such as Arbequina, Arbosana or Koreneiki, of international acceptance, are suitable for these areas. Harvests take place in September, two months in advance compared to the average of the northern hemisphere, which gives a certain competitive edge.

    Already in the Mao Zedong era, China encouraged the olive tree as a social cultivation, thanks to the exchange of experiences with other communist regime such as the Albania of Enver Hoxha’s time. Currently, there are nearly 70,000 hectares of olive trees and a production in the last season of 5,000 tonnes, similar to that of France or Cyprus that, according to projections, will exceed 6,000 tonnes during the following season.

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    After two historical years of imports where China purchased 46.000 tonnes during the 2011/2012 season, purchases dropped up to 35,000 tonnes for the biennium 2013/2015. The 2015/2016 period was a recovery period with an increase of 12% and purchases of more than 40,000 tonnes,... 
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  • The first case of the destructive bacterium Xylella fastidiosa in Spain

    After destroying entire olive groves in Italy and last year appearing in the Balearic Islands, the first case of the destructive bacterium Xylella fastidiosa has been confirmed on mainland Spain, making farmers worry in the land where olive oil is liquid gold.

    “Clearly, we are not going to be able to stop this; it’s a question of time before it reaches us,” said Luis Carlos Valero, leader of the ASAJA farmers’ union in Jaén, after the plague was confirmed as having been detected in Alicante last week.

    The fact that the first affected plant on the mainland was an almond tree is no consolation for olive growers; more than 300 European plant species have proved to be susceptible to Xylella.

    Xylella fastidiosa

    In Italy around a million trees are reported to have been killed by ‘olive quick decline syndrome’ after being attacked by bacteria that can be carried by various common meadow insects.

    In Spain, which has 350 million trees and where half of the world’s olive oil is produced, industry representatives fear the impact could be catastrophic.

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    After destroying entire olive groves in Italy and last year appearing in the Balearic Islands, the first case of the destructive bacterium Xylella fastidiosa has been confirmed on mainland Spain, making farmers worry in the land where olive oil is liquid gold. “Clearly, we... 
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  • Nowadays, Spain dominates on Russian olive oil market with 56% of share

    The olive oil market is immersed in a process of consolidation in Russia, where the two main competitors, Spain and Italy, jointly concentrate a growing share both in terms of value and volume. Nowadays, Spain dominates the Russian market with 56% of share, although the Italian oil has burst with great force in the last years, reaching a share of 30%, according to a study of ICEX España Exportación y Inversiones.

    El estudio destaca que en Rusia se consume principalmente aceite de girasol y el país ha aplicado políticas para reducir la dependencia del exterior de este producto con éxito y se ha convertido en unos de los principales productores a nivel mundial. “>The study highlights that in Russia sunflower oil is consumed mainly and the country has successfully implemented policies to reduce external dependence of this product and has become one of the main producers worldwide.

    article source mercacei

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    The olive oil market is immersed in a process of consolidation in Russia, where the two main competitors, Spain and Italy, jointly concentrate a growing share both in terms of value and volume. Nowadays, Spain dominates the Russian market with 56% of share, although the Italian... 
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    Spanish organizations disagreement with the new EU Organic Production Regulation

    Eight Spanish entities that bring together almost 80% of the Spanish organic sector have jointly signed a statement, addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, stating their disagreement with the draft of the new European Regulation on Organic Production and the Labeling of Organic Products.

    In this statement they request that the Minister should vote against the agreement to this document in the Special Committee of Agriculture so that it continues working in the deficiencies that the text presents. This seems the perfect timing because today there is a meeting between the Ministers of Agriculture of the member countries of the European Union to vote for or against the new draft of the Regulation of Organic Production and the Labeling of Organic Products.

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    Eight Spanish entities that bring together almost 80% of the Spanish organic sector have jointly signed a statement, addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, stating their disagreement with the draft of the new European Regulation... 
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  • The 2nd Gourmet Olive & Delicacies Exhibition in Greece

    The 2nd Gourmet Olive & Delicacies Exhibition which took place in Thessaloniki, Greece on May 5, 6 and 7 came to a successful end, confirming for the second consecutive year that Gourmet is an exclusive exhibition.

    Over three hundred fine foods and natural personal care products of seventy two artisan Greek producers were showcased in a three-day festive Gourmet exhibition. Extra virgin olive oils, olives, honey, jams, chutneys, spreads, sauces, cheese, spoon sweets, chocolates, herbs, nuts, cookies, handmade pasta, spirits, oils, soaps and many more natural personal care products, aromatic plant syrups, olive oil and balsamic pearls, premium mushroom products, all from dynamic businesses earn a place in the Greek specialty food basket for the world-wide consumer.

    International buyers, local wholesalers, restaurant owners, delis, hotel professionals and the public had the opportunity to discuss with the producers at length learning about their products and their history, tasting and enjoying traditional and innovative foods.  Commercial visitors participated in a series of select interactive activities, in order to further master the special characteristics and uses of each type of product exhibited. Master Classes, presentations and tastings especially designed for business audiences and food journalists, included Products which travel, Macedonian Land, New Applications, Locally-sourced Production, and Vegetarian Diet. A seminar on making soaps and cosmetics with edible materials attracted the attention of the public. Thehe Mentoring Corner, where professional personal advice to exhibitors and buyers alike were offered to all interested parties was a great success. Finally, all visitors were eligible to sign up for a session at the Olive Bar professional tastings, or the Chef Shows where famous professionals demonstrated new and exciting recipes.

    The 2nd Gourmet Olive & Delicacies Exhibition attracted the media and a great number of journalists from Northern Greece as well as Athens covered the event in person.

    For more information please visit: www.gourmetoliveexhibition.com

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    The 2nd Gourmet Olive & Delicacies Exhibition which took place in Thessaloniki, Greece on May 5, 6 and 7 came to a successful end, confirming for the second consecutive year that Gourmet is an exclusive exhibition. Over three hundred fine foods and natural personal care... 
    Read More →
  • Latest provisional data from the AICA on olive oil price evolution

    Based on the latest provisional data from the Food Information and Control Agency (AICA), we wanted to gather the opinion of several professionals, who have analyzed the evolution during this campaign of a unique market situation.

    The provisional data published by the AICA, facilitated by the Asociación Agraria de Jóvenes Agricultores (Asaja) of Jaén, detail that Spain has produced in the first five months of the campaign 1,230,000 tons, whereas in the specific case of Andalusia the accumulated figure is of 1,006,000 tons. The data regarding market outlets is high, with 136,500 tons in February, the second best monthly output so far this year and the second best outlet in the last five seasons.

    Meanwhile, total stocks at the end of February amounted up to 987,300 tons, which means 25,000 tons more than the previous month and 99,100 tons less than the previous season.

    Historic year?
    The CEO of Luque Ecológico, Juan Manuel Luque, believes that this year can go down in history as showing the largest figure for Spanish sales of olive oil, since to the high prices we can add a crop that, although being lower than what some operators expectated, it is among the best ten in History.

    For Juan Manuel Luque, “we can agree that prices are too high, that we are going to lose market share, that bottlers lose money… but the reality, which is very stubborn, shows us that every month there are more kilos of oil and the price is higher and higher.” According to him, “we have the perfect storm heading the olive oil sector and only Spanish producers have the capacity to rise or lower the oil prices worldwide. At this moment it is our responsibility to maintain high but stable price levels. The only thing we know for sure is that the sooner the prices increase, the sooner they will decrease in the same campaign,” he said, while pointing out that “we could choose to continue supplying the market on a continuous basis or to keep the oil and wait for the ridge of the wave hoping that the wave does not fall on us.”
    In his opinion, “large groups -which are the ones with the large quantities of oil- are going to have the responsibility of continuing to supply the market and not let the price soar to levels that we could regret.”

    article source mercacei

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    Based on the latest provisional data from the Food Information and Control Agency (AICA), we wanted to gather the opinion of several professionals, who have analyzed the evolution during this campaign of a unique market situation. The provisional data published by the AICA, facilitated... 
    Read More →
  • Jordan ratifies its accession to the International Olive Council

    The Office of the United Nations in New York, the depositary of the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives, 2015, has just informed the Executive Secretariat of the International Olive Council that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ratified said Agreement on 19 April 2017.

    Jordan, which signed the Agreement on 22 December 2016, is an important olive producing country. According to the data provided by its Ministry of Agriculture, approximately 80 000 Jordanian families are employed in the national olive sector. Olive trees occupy close to 72% of the total surface area given over to fruit trees and 36% of Jordan’s arable land. As an integral part of daily life and customs in Jordanian society, a considerable heritage has grown up around olive growing, being one of the country’s most important and oldest crops. Some 15 – 20% of the 17 million olive trees in Jordan were planted in Roman times and are thought to be up to 2 000 years old.

    At 19 April 2017, 13 countries had signed the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives, 2015, (Algeria, Argentina, Israel, the European Union, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco, I.R. of Iran, Tunisia, Turkey and Uruguay). Four of these have notified their provisional application of the Agreement (Algeria, the European Union, Libya and Morocco). Three countries have ratified, accepted or approved it, or have acceded to it definitively (Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia).

    source International Olive Council

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    The Office of the United Nations in New York, the depositary of the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives, 2015, has just informed the Executive Secretariat of the International Olive Council that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ratified said Agreement on 19 April... 
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  • The results of the EVOOLEUM - World’s TOP100 Extra Virgin Olive Oils Awards

    EVOOLEUM. World’s TOP 100 Extra Virgin Olive Oils is an international competition for the quality of extra virgin olive oils, which will select the 100 best EVOOs in the World. Thus, a group of expert tasters renowned worldwide will be in charge of conducting the valuation of the organoleptic quality of the juices presented, where there will be every season the exclusive TOP100 of the best extra virgins of the world, and the best on their different categories and geographic areas.

    The results of the EVOOLEUM Awards were unveiled yesterday at the World Olive Oil Exhibition (WOOE), which was held for two days at the fairgrounds of Ifema in Madrid.

    Organizers of the contest- presented the EVOOLEUM World’s TOP100 Extra Virgin Olive Oils Guide and unveiled the names of 100 brands of EVOO from 16 countries that the jury has considered the best in the world (above 80 points).

    In the second edition of the contest, held on March 10 and 11 in Cordoba, a total of 22 internationally prestigious expert tasters from eight countries valued the more than 300 samples submitted to the competition. EVOOs from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Israel, Morocco, Chile, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, South Africa and Tunisia have competed in this second edition to form the ranking of the world’s TOP100 EVOOs that will be included in the EVOOLEUM World’s TOP100 Extra Virgin Olive Oils Guide 2017, published in English and Spanish, and of annual periodicity, that is distributed in the main contests and international fairs of the olive and gastronomic sector, as well as in gourmet and delicatessen establishments, Michelin-star restaurants, bookstores and supermarkets.

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    EVOOLEUM. World’s TOP 100 Extra Virgin Olive Oils is an international competition for the quality of extra virgin olive oils, which will select the 100 best EVOOs in the World. Thus, a group of expert tasters renowned worldwide will be in charge of conducting the valuation... 
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  • OLIVE JAPAN 2017 pleased announce the Award Winners !!

    OLIVE JAPAN International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition is one of the premier olive oil competitions in the world, bringing together the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best oils from around the globe.

    This is the sixth year of OLIVE JAPAN International Competition, Japan as the one of the most important market for olive oil in the world. The judges are invited from key major olive oil production countries and Japan, under recommendation by the Olive Oil Sommelier Association of Japan. (OSAJ)

    This Competition will be held as a key program in the “OLIVE JAPAN 2017” and winners will be prized at the main event of the MARCHE tradeshow, and will be carried by major papers and trade magazines. The competition is committed to educating the public about extra virgin olive oil, featuring industry experts with extensive knowledge about selection, tasting and food pairings.

    OLIVE JAPAN International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition and its panel of tasters invite you to participate in the sixth annual competition open to extra virgin olive oils and flavored olive oils throughout the world. In the 2016 Competition, OLIVE JAPAN had total 600 olive oil entered and 420 olive oil got awarded.

    The Competition Results was appeared on this website on April 24th, 2017.

    You can see the full list of winners here

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    OLIVE JAPAN International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition is one of the premier olive oil competitions in the world, bringing together the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best oils from around the globe. This is the sixth year of... 
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  • The Portuguese Olive Oil Sector

    At the invitation of the Casa do Azeite, the Portuguese Olive Oil Association and the Portuguese authorities, the 49th meeting of the Advisory Committee will take place in Lisbon (Portugal) on 18 May 2017. Portugal is a founding Member of the IOC, since February 1956, and the first Agreement establishing the International Olive Council in 1959 at the initiative of a group of countries (Belgium, Spain, Greece, Israel, Italy, Libya, Morocco, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Tunisia).

    Map 1 – Distribution of the olive production areas in Portugal

    It has participated actively in all the international agreements on olive oil and table olives, as well as in the working groups set up to monitor the activities of the Organisation. On 1 January 1986, it joined the European Union and currently holds the status of a European Member State. The olive growing area in Portugal is of 352 000 ha, of which 23% is irrigated while the rest is rain-fed. The largest olive tree domains are found in the Alentejo region, which accounts for 50% of the total olive growing area, followed by Tras-os-Montes (22%), Centro (18%); Ribatejo (7.7 %) and Algarve( 2.3%). Close to 97.5% of the total surface area is used to grow olives for olive oil, while the rest is used for table olives. Six per cent of the olive growing area is used for organic olive farming.

    The main olive varieties are the Galega Vulgar, which is the most common variety in Portugal, and the Cobrançosa, which is indigenous to the Tras-os-Montes region, even though it is found throughout the country. The Carrasquenha variety is mainly cultivated in the area of Alentejo, together with the Cordovil de Serpa variety; Verdeal and Madural are two varieties grown in the Tras-os-Montes area; and Cordovil de Castelo Branco is gorwn in the Beira Interior region. The varieties Maçanilha Algarvia, Negrinha de Freixo (Tras-os-Montes ) and Conserva de Elvas are the main varieties used for table olives.

    It should be noted that since 2003/04 new areas have been planted in the Alentejo region, covering approximately 40% of the area, with varieties such as Arbequina, Arbosana, Koroneiki and Picual. Olive growing is a significant agricultural activity in Portugal, generating €95.5 million and accounting for 1.36% of the value of agricultural production. The olive sector employs 1 431 people (1.6% of the agriculture and food industry total); it has more than 495 olive mills, 12 olive oil refineries and 17 olive pomace oil extractors.


    Over the last five decades, olive growing in Portugal has gone through various different stages. From 1950- 1998 there was a move to replace olive growing with other crops, resulting in the ageing of olive orchards and generating high production costs, which triggered a serious crisis in the olive sector. The year 1986, when Portugal became part of the European Union, marked the beginning of a period of modernisation in the sector, protecting olive orchards and providing incentives for the extension of olive growing areas. The trend, in recent years, has been one of modernization, improvement in production procedures, planting of new intensive and super-intensive olive orchards, with a more productive profile through the modernisation of the traditional olive orchard
    (rejuvenation pruning, irrigation) as well as an increase in the transformation capacity of the olive mills.

    Graph 1 shows the trends in the last five decades, achieving an average production in the last decade 2005-15 of 57970 t. It achieved a production record in the 2015/16 crop year with 209 125 t, of which 78% of the production was extra virgin olive oil (85 285 t), 17% virgin olive oil (19 095 t) and 4% lampante virgin olive oil (4745 t).

    Portuguese exports of olive oil during the 2015/16 crop year increased by 8% compared with the previous crop year, reaching a total volume of 137 145.10 t, of which 69% were intra-EU sales. As graph II indicates, the destination markets of these intra-EU sales
    are mainly Spain, Italy and France.

    The main destination of extra-EU exports is Brazil with 24% of total exports, followed by Angola (3%). In terms of product category, 81% of total exports are virgin and extra virgin olive oil, 11% olive oil and 8% olive pomace oil.
    Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 114 – March 2017

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    At the invitation of the Casa do Azeite, the Portuguese Olive Oil Association and the Portuguese authorities, the 49th meeting of the Advisory Committee will take place in Lisbon (Portugal) on 18 May 2017. Portugal is a founding Member of the IOC, since February 1956, and the... 
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  • Hurry to register for the next edition of the TerraOlivo EVOO International Contest

    The first deadline to register for the next edition of the TerraOlivo Extra Virgin Olive Oil International Contest will end on March 31st. According to the statements the organizers of the event to Mercacei, those interested in participating will have a discount before this date, while from April 1st the registration period will continue until May 31st.

    Specifically, in the case of the registration before March 31st the cost for each sample will be of 220 euros (compared to the price of 250 euros of the standard registration); while the registration will be free in the case of the design prize (being 40 euros after March 31st).

    The organization has pointed out that so far it has beaten a record of foreign samples entered (302 EVOOs without including Israeli juices). “At TerraOlivo, more than 70% of the samples come from abroad, which makes it the most international competition”, they underlined.

    The founder and organizer of TerraOlivo, Moshé A. Spak, is confident on reaching the number of samples received the previous year which amounted to 608 juices and has remarked that the contest will have six commissions made up of expert collectors from around the world.

    Among the objectives of these awards, held in June in Jerusalem, Spak highlights the promotion of the nutritional benefits of EVOO and its international market and consumption, as well as spreading the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

    TERRAOLIVO 2017
    Terraolivo MIOOC is the most important international Olive Oil competition in the area of the eastern Mediterranean and Asia, It is because of the number of samples growing annually and growing production areas, last edition with more than 629 samples from more than 60 production areas.
    Furthermore, it is important for the quality of its international judges, who are the best specialists in Tasting Olive Oil around the world, and key personalities in their origin countries.
    Terraolivo is one of five Key Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competitions in the world where your EVOO can not miss the participation, to try to get the Terraolivo Prestige Awards.

    We expect your Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    TERRAOLIVO

    ENGEL 46/13
    KFAR SAVA 44444 – ISRAEL
    Persona de contacto: Moshe Spak
    Phone: (+972) 543969459
    Email: info@terraolivo.org

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    The first deadline to register for the next edition of the TerraOlivo Extra Virgin Olive Oil International Contest will end on March 31st. According to the statements the organizers of the event to Mercacei, those interested in participating will have a discount before this date,... 
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  • The Best Olive Oil Treatments for Hair and Skin

    Even though one of our skin experts might be rolling in her exam chair right now, we’re gonna go out on a limb here and say, sotto voce, we still love a good DIY—operative word being “good.” That being said, we’re sure even the strictest dermatologists and hairstylists could get behind a fairly innocuous, homemade olive oil treatment (though please patch test before dunking your head in—we don’t want any nasty reactions, do we?). Here, five easy, safe recipes from Maia Hirschbein, the oleologist at California Olive Ranch.

    Olive Oil Body Salve

    Mix equal parts olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Melt 3 ounces of beeswax in a double boiler, heating slowly. Once melted, add the beeswax to the oil mixture. Test the texture of the salve by putting a small drop on a spoon in the freezer—add more wax to harden or more oil to loosen it. Once you’ve reached the desired texture, add essential oil. (Hirschbein likes grapefruit or peppermint.) For extra moisture, include 40 drops of vitamin E oil to heal cracked or super-dry skin.

    Combine 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup honey. Warm the mask in the shower or bathwater before using your fingers or a comb to work it into your hair, focusing on the ends. Tie up your hair, leave it in for up to an hour, then wash and dry like normal.
    Exfoliating Olive Oil Body Scrub

    Mix 1/2 cup sea salt, 1/2 cup olive oil, and your favorite essential oil. Gently rub on body, concentrating on dry areas, such as elbows and soles of the feet.

    Olive Oil Eye Makeup Remover

    Combine olive oil and aloe water in a glass jar you can seal tightly. Before using, shake the mixture to emulsify and apply using a cotton pad. Let it rest for a few seconds, then wipe for makeup-free and moisturized eyes.

    Calming Olive Oil Face Mask

    Mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of warm honey, and one beaten egg. Once the mixture is emulsified, apply to your face with a facial brush or your hands, and let it sit for 15–30 minutes.

    source

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    Even though one of our skin experts might be rolling in her exam chair right now, we’re gonna go out on a limb here and say, sotto voce, we still love a good DIY—operative word being “good.” That being said, we’re sure even the strictest dermatologists... 
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  • Recipe: Chocolate Spice Olive Oil Cake

    INGREDIENTS:
    4 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup flour
    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon instant espresso
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar

    DIRECTIONS:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In the bowl of a mixer blend the eggs and sugar until pale. Add vanilla and olive oil. Mix to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder salt, and spices. Add to wet ingredients, blend until combined.

    Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan. Pour in batter and bake in oven for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cake cool completely. Dust top with powdered sugar.

    Source

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    INGREDIENTS: 4 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon instant espresso 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1-2 tablespoons... 
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  • Spring Recipe: Braised Lamb With Egg, Lemon and Extra-virgin olive oil

    For a springtime stew, this classic Mediterranean lamb braise is perfect. Tart with lots of lemon juice and enriched with egg yolks, it’s especially good with succulent young lamb. For optimal flavor, it’s best to make the stew the night before. Most gourmet food shops and Italian delis sell fregola, a large couscous-like pasta from Sardinia.

    Ingredients

    4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut in 3-inch pieces
    Salt and pepper
    Extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large onion, diced
    4 large garlic cloves, chopped
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    Pinch of saffron, crumbled (optional)
    ½ cup white wine
    4 cups good chicken broth
    2 sprigs thyme
    2 sprigs rosemary
    Bay leaf
    1 cup fregola, or use Israeli couscous
    4 egg yolks
    ½ cup lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    3 tablespoons chopped celery heart leaves
    4 hard-cooked eggs (8 to 9 minutes) at room temperature, for garnish

    Directions:

    For a springtime stew, this classic Mediterranean lamb braise is perfect. Tart with lots of lemon juice and enriched with egg yolks, it’s especially good with succulent young lamb. For optimal flavor, it’s best to make the stew the night before. Most gourmet food shops and Italian delis sell fregola, a large couscous-like pasta from Sardinia.

    1.Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400 degrees. Season lamb pieces generously with salt and pepper. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom soup pot over medium-high heat and brown the lamb lightly on each side. (Do this in batches so as not to crowd the pan.) Remove browned lamb from pan and set aside.

    2.Lower heat to medium, then add onions and cook until soft, allowing them to brown a bit, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, flour, tomato paste and saffron, if using, and stir to coat the onions. Stir in wine and broth, then bring to a simmer. Add the browned lamb pieces, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.

    3.Cover pot and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and cook for an additional hour. The meat should be meltingly tender when pierced with a paring knife or skewer.

    4.Remove lamb pieces with a slotted spoon. Strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, then return lamb pieces and strained liquid to the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool to room temperature, then cover pot and refrigerate overnight; this makes removing the fat easier and improves the flavor.

    5.Remove the stew from the fridge and remove congealed fat. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a bare simmer.

    6.Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook fregola until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes, drain and put into a large serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with olive oil. Keep warm.

    7.Just before serving, whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together until well combined. Gradually whisk in some of the hot stew liquid to temper the eggs. Turn off the heat under the stew. Pour egg mixture back into the stew, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon. The sauce will thicken very slightly. Taste for seasoning. (Sauce may curdle if it gets too hot. If necessary, keep stew warm over a double boiler.)

    8.Transfer stew to a serving dish. Mix together parsley, celery heart leaves and lemon zest, and sprinkle abundantly over the stew. Garnish with peeled and halved hard-cooked eggs. Serve with fregola and, if desired, vegetables such as spring carrots, turnips, asparagus or peas.

    Recipe source

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    For a springtime stew, this classic Mediterranean lamb braise is perfect. Tart with lots of lemon juice and enriched with egg yolks, it’s especially good with succulent young lamb. For optimal flavor, it’s best to make the stew the night before. Most gourmet food shops... 
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  • Olive oil prices have risen up to 20% in the past two weeks

    Olive oil prices have risen up to 20% in the past two weeks as output has fallen in the main producing countries. Suppliers such as Cargill, Field Fresh and Borges may raise it further this year, which can hit demand.

    “Olive oil production in key producing nations like Italy, Greece and Tunisia has remained low. This has led us to correct olive oil prices in retail since the past fortnight by as high as 15% to 20%,” said Rajneesh Bhasin, MD at Borges India.

    According to him, Italy and Spain contributed 96% of total import of olive oil in the country.

    Bhasin said the current retail price of pomace oil, which was cheapest in the olive oil category, has seen a 15% increase and is selling at Rs 350-375 a litre, while extra light or refined oil is up 20% at Rs 650 a litre and extra virgin oil is up 15% at Rs 750 a litre.

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    Olive oil prices have risen up to 20% in the past two weeks as output has fallen in the main producing countries. Suppliers such as Cargill, Field Fresh and Borges may raise it further this year, which can hit demand. “Olive oil production in key producing nations like... 
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  • Movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil

    PRODUCER PRICES – OLIVE OIL
    Graph 1 tracks the weekly movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil in the top three EU producing countries and in Tunisia, while graph 3 shows the weekly changes in producer prices for refined olive oil in the three main EU producer countries.

    The monthly price movements for these categories are given in Graphs 2 and Extra virgin olive oil – Producer prices in Spain over the last few weeks continued increasing steadily to reach €3.85/kg at the end of February 2017, which was a 19% increase compared to the same period the previous year. If we compare this price with the maximum price in the third week of August 2015 (€4.23/kg), it presents a 9% decrease (Graph 1).

    Italy – Producer prices in Italy began rising in mid-August and this trend remains unchecked. They broke the €5 barrier in the first week of November, coming in at €6.07/kg at the end of February 2017, which is a 67% year-on-year increase.

    Graph 2 shows the movements in monthly prices for the extra virgin olive oil category in recent campaigns.

    Greece – The prices in Greece from mid-August to the end of October remained stable but, as in other markets, they levelled off in November and have remained stable over the last few months at €3.46/kg, which is a 15% increase compared to the same period the previous year.

    Tunisia – Prices in Tunisia, following some weeks of relative stability, increased as of the third week of January, breaking the €4 barrier and coming in at €4.08/kg at the end of February 2017 for a 17% year-on-year increase.

    Refined olive oil: The producer prices for refined olive oil in Spain and Italy generally follow the same trend as the prices for extra virgin olive oil. The price in Spain at the end of February 2017 stands at €3.73/kg, up by 25% compared to the previous year. In Italy it came in at €3.84/kg, which was a 22% year-on-year increase. No price data are available for this product category in Greece.

    At the end of February 2017, the price difference in Spain between refined olive oil (€3.85/kg) and extra virgin oil (€3.73/kg) was of €0.12/kg. In Italy the price difference between the two categories was greater at €2.23/kg (Graph 3).

    Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 113 – February 2017

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    PRODUCER PRICES – OLIVE OIL Graph 1 tracks the weekly movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil in the top three EU producing countries and in Tunisia, while graph 3 shows the weekly changes in producer prices for refined olive oil in the three main... 
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  • World trade in olive oil and table olives 2016/17 crop year

    OLIVE OIL- OPENING OF 2016/17 WITH A SHARP RISE IN IMPORTS
    Sales of olive oil and olive pomace oil open the 2016/17 crop year on a sharp upturn in certain markets. In the first three months (October–December 2016) the eight markets that appear in the table below present an increase of 74% in Australia, 51% in Brazil, 42% in China, 24% in Canada; 15% in Japan; and 1% in the United States, compared to the same period the previous year. At the time of publishing this Newsletter, figures for Russia are only available up to December 2016, presenting a 14% year-on-year increase.

    As regards EU1 trade in the first two months of the current crop year (October–November 2016), intra-EU acquisitions increased by 19% and extra-EU imports fell by 36% compared to the same period the previous year.

    TABLE OLIVES– 2016/17 CROP YEAR OPENING
    Trade in table olives in the first four months of 2016/172 (September–December 2016) in the five markets that appear in the table below show a year-on-year increase of 21% in Brazil; 11% in Australia, while there was no change in import levels in the United States. However, imports in Canada fell by 5%.

    In the first three months of the 2016/17 crop year (September–November 2016) EU data3 shows a 3% decrease in intra-EU acquisitions and a 6% increase in extra-EU imports compared to the same period the previous year.

    Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 113 – February 2017

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    OLIVE OIL- OPENING OF 2016/17 WITH A SHARP RISE IN IMPORTS Sales of olive oil and olive pomace oil open the 2016/17 crop year on a sharp upturn in certain markets. In the first three months (October–December 2016) the eight markets that appear in the table below present an... 
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