Pitting yourself against olive etiquette? Here is the CORRECT way to eat olives with pits

IS THERE a polite way of eating pitted olives without spitting the remains into your hand?

By KATRINA TURRILL

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While olive connoisseurs reckon olives with a pit inside are tastier than those without, eating them can prove particularly difficult – especially in front of a crowd.
Most people simply pick the pit out from between their teeth or spit it into their hand, which doesn’t seem too polite. But is this the only way to dispose of it? Or is their a much more glamorous way? Website Olive Central reveals how one should dispose of the pit correctly when eating olives.
Olive Central says there are two scenarios you’ll find yourselves with olives – the first is when they’re served as snacks. The site adds: “To pick them up, use a toothpick if they have been made available, otherwise fingers is fine. Small olives of into your mouth whole, while big olives can be held not he ends with your thumb and forefinger and the flesh bitten off the olive.
“If biting the flesh off the olive, the pit remaining between the two fingers can simply be discarded. When eating the olive whole the pit can be gently spat into your palm or the end of your upright fist.”
Olive-635654“For a slightly more sophisticated version, hold you other handing front of your mouth to hid this spitting activity from view.”
And where should you discard of the pit?
If a bowl has been provided for the pits, they can be put in there, but if not, the side of your own plate is deemed acceptable.Alternatively they can be stored in a paper napkin for later disposal.
The second scenario is when olives form part of a salad. In this scenario, according to Olive Central, table etiquette applies. This means the olive should be put in your mouth using a fork.
The site says: “The easiest way to pick it up is to hold the olive down with your knife and then stab it with your fork. Place the olive in your mouth.
“Tables etiquette suggests that anything thatches out of your mouth should do so the same way it went in. In this case the fork should be used to discard the pit.
“Place one hand in front of your mouth to hide this activity and gently push the pit onto the fork using your tongue.”
But if this forms too much of a challenge for you, you can revert to spitting the pit onto your hand and discarding it.
Again, the other hand should be places in front of your mouth for that added level of sophistication.

(Source: http://www.express.co.uk)

Olives bring warmth to Lebanese health centre

In preparation for the coming winter, which is expected to be particularly harsh, the ICRC recently delivered 10 tons of olive husk fuel to heat the Al Rahma health clinic in the mountainous area of Chebaa in the south-east of Lebanon.

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Chebaa is squeezed between the Syrian and Israeli borders and has long been directly or indirectly exposed to conflicts and their effects. Over the past few years, its population has grown considerably because of the presence of refugees from neighbouring Syria, which has put a significant strain on the already fragile local infrastructure.

Located at more than 1,300 meters above sea level on the slopes of Mount Hermon, this secluded area is also exposed to adverse weather conditions. Last January, it was hit by the Zina storm, claiming the lives of several Syrian refugees and seriously affecting many other inhabitants.
“Life is not easy here at times, and access to health services remains a major concern, especially in winter. It often snows heavily, roads get blocked and it becomes difficult to move around,” says the director of the Al Rahma health clinic, Mohamed Al Jarrar.

“Last year, because of the snow and the cold, we even had to close our clinic for a few days. But this winter, thanks to the biofuel supplied by the ICRC, we’ll be able to receive and treat our patients in warm conditions.”

(Source: https://www.icrc.org)

 

Harvesting your olives

harvesting articleTHE three main objectives of harvesting olives are: Pick when ready for preparing eating olives or making olive oil, to cause as little bruising as possible and cause as little damage to the trees as possible. Olives for eating need to be picked while still firm. Olives for oil can be picked at the same stage or left to fully swell to maximise the overall yields.

Some high quality producers still pick by hand. However most olives are allowed to fall naturally or racked, knocked off with long canes, or shaken off with mechanical tree shakers onto nets and then transferred to plastic boxes.

In some areas, to reduce harvesting costs, the ground under trees is laid bare by using weed killers two weeks before shaking the olives onto the ground when they are blown or brushed into heaps for sacking.

Yields can vary from 10 to 110 kilos or more per tree depending on the age, health and pruning of the tree, and the summer and autumn sunshine and rainfalls.

….cont. at:

(Source: https://www.euroweeklynews.com/lifestyle/homes-and-gardens/clodagh-and-dick-handscombe/item/125741-harvesting-your-olives)

Olives can enliven a host of dishes

Olive, Basil and Almond Tapenade

Description This recipe is adapted from “My Paris Kitchen” by David Lebowitz (Ten Speed Press, 2014). Recipe tested by Linda Mutschler Read more A festive menu for a tree-trimming party Makes 8 to 10 servings

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Ingredients:

2 cups pitted green olives
½ cup untoasted almonds
1 small clove garlic
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and squeezed dry
½ cup loosely packed basil leaves
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Crackers or bread slices to serve
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Preparation:

Put the olives, almonds, garlic, lemon juice and capers in the bowl of a food processor. Coarsely chop the basil leaves, add them to the food processor, and pulse the machine a few times to start breaking them down. Add olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Pulse the food processor until mixture forms a coarse paste but still has texture.

Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with crackers or bread.

(Source: http://www.jsonline.com)

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Health benefits of olives

September 16, 2014, by Katie Wilhelmi RD, LD , The Journal

I love olives. They are one of my favorite foods. Ironically, my 2-year-old also loves them. My husband claims it’s because I ate way more than my share when I was pregnant. Whatever the reason might be, I’m glad he likes them too.

Olives are a main ingredient on any pizzas we make at our house. They are common on holiday tables and at parties on traditional relish trays. But olives are also an ideal ingredient to add flavor and variety to foods all year long.

Olives come in many different shapes, colors, sizes and flavors. The difference between black and green olives is simply the ripeness. Green olives are unripe and black olives are fully ripe. Olives, both ripe and unripe, are cured or pickled before eating. The reason for this is that fresh olives are too bitter to eat because they contain oleuropein. Oleuropein is full of antioxidants that actually make the olives good for us.

Olive-varieties

Even though olives have a high fat content – 15 to 30 percent – the majority of fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Olives are also considered a good source of vitamin E and contain the natural antioxidants found in oleuropein. Four or five medium to large ripe olives have only 25 calories and 2 grams of fat. Because of the curing process, olives do contain sodium. Rinsing olives first before eating will help reduce some of the sodium.

If you are looking for new ways to try serving olives one way is to make a tapenade. Tapenades are an olive puree or paste blended with seasonings and herbs. All you need is a food processor, blender or knife with a cutting board to prepare a basic tapenade. Tapenades are the perfect building blocks to use with baguettes, crackers or pita chips for holiday parties. For another fun appetizer idea using olives try the stuffed olive recipe below.

Gouda-Stuffed Olives (Serves 24).

All you need

1 oz Gouda cheese | 1 (6-oz) can large black ripe pitted olives, drained | 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto or deli ham

All you do

1. Cut Gouda cheese into small (1/4-inch) pieces; stuff one piece into each olive.

2. Cut prosciutto into 3-by–inch strips; fold each strip lengthwise once to form 3-by–inch strips.

3. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around each olive; secure with a toothpick.

4. Cover and chill up to 24 hours before serving.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 20, Total fat 1.5 g, Sodium 150 mg, Total carbohydrate 0 g

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee.

(Source: http://www.nujournal.com)

(Like: https://www.facebook.com/inolivia.gr)

Warm Citrus Olives with Rosemary and Garlic

Don’t weekends go way too fast? After a long week at work, I completely look forward to Friday night. It is the beginning of the weekend. In addition we have our Friday night tradition of wine and appetizers. Our Friday night this week was filled with friends and great cheeses. DSC01532
Our dear friend brought a very special bottle of wine to celebrate Friday night. It was a bottle I have never had before and now has become a new favorite. Seven Stones Winery sits east of St. Helena. Ronald and Anita Wornick didn’t take long after they purchased 45 acres for their family estate, to take on the exceptional task of creating some of the best wine. They only produce 400 cases, and dedicate to a single varietal –Cabernet Sauvignon.DSC01512

As quoted on their website – “Seven Stones is comprised of just under three acres of vines and a winery on the Wornick family estate in St. Helena. From small, meticulously cultivated vineyard parcels, we produce a limited amount of some of Napa Valley’s most sought after Cabernet Sauvignon.”DSC01507 Continue reading

Olive Tapenade Crostini | Friday Night Bites

When it comes to appetizers, simplicity is sublime.  Often the limited number of ingredients combined together creates the most spectacular flavor profiles.  My Olive Tapenade Crostinis are a perfect example of this theory.  Between the salty, savory tapenade and the smoky flavor from the red pepper along with the sweetness from the reduced balsamic on top of a crunchy carbohydrate – this is heaven in a two bite delight.DSC00572

Hubby and I attended a holiday party last weekend in San Franciscowhich was rather beige unfortunately, but one that we needed to attend. We had great guests at our table, so the event was several shades more enticing.  With any type of mass catering, sometimes the finesse of tasty food is lost in production and as hard as they tried, it was a lack luster attempt.  Perhaps because I have such an affinity for food, I am being a bit too critical and I am sure others were thrilled and I am hapy for them.  Be that as it may, there was one bright light shining at the event and it was on the appetizer portion of this party – thus my inspiration for this week’s Friday Night Bites.  I always try to find the positive in any situation.

My positive was this delightful little two bite Crostini filled with salty tapenade, mozzarella and roasted red bell pepper.  I added the reduced balsamic and a garlic rubbed Crostini.  This can’t be more simple to make and will WOW your guests.  This is a perfect appetizer to bring for any holiday party or enjoy on New Years Eve with a chilled glass of your favorite bubbly.  Cheers! Continue reading

Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives | Friday Night Bites

When I am at , nine times out of ten, I make my way to the olive bar.  They house one of the best selections in the Bay Area of olives without having to venture to a specialty shop in San Francisco.  One of my absolute favorites is the Castelvetrano Olive.  It is grown exclusively in western Sicily among the Belice river valley, near the town of Castelvetrano.  The prime time for harvesting is the beginning of October through mid November.  DSC02515

Contrary to popular belief, this olive is not actually cured, but goes through a similar process as to the California style black ripe olives.  The olive is washed in lye, or caustic soda for up to 12 hours.  It takes the bitterness out of the olive and then it is continually washed in fresh water to remove the lye.  Then it is either refrigerated or canned.  This process produces an intense green color and sweet flavor profile.   A great pairing to this beautiful olive is parmesan-reggiano, mozzarella, marcona almonds and Genoa salami.

I wanted to create a quick recipe that was packed with flavor we could enjoy for our Friday Night Bites.  Hubby doesn’t like anything with a pit or bones, so luckily Whole Foods had the pitted version of the Castelvetrano olive.  The idea of serving warm olives with garlic, citrus, spicy red pepper and fresh thyme simply resonated with me.  The flavor combination was simply divine, fresh and a perfect little bite.  I actually serve with a small fork so you can get the different bits of flavor in one bite.  The zest of the orange and lightly toasted slice of garlic with a fleck of spicy red pepper was a wonderful treat for my mouth. If you want to kick up your olives and impress your guests, this is the recipe for you!

Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives

DSC025002 Cups Castelvetrano Olives

6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and sliced thin

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

Zest of one Orange

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and olives and heat on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Be careful not to have the heat too high or the garlic will burn.  Right before serving, add the orange zest and thyme leaves and toss.  Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

(Source: http://authenticsuburbangourmet.blogspot.gr)-def50

Three tempting olive-based tapenades

Olive-based spreads usher old-world flavour to modern palate

Looking at some photos of a memorable family trip to the south of France, I noted many were of market scenes — not an unusual interest for a food writer.

One picture showed a woman selling tapenade, a flavourful mixture whose key ingredient is olives.

Tapenade comes from the word tapeno, which means “capers” in Provence, a southwestern region of France where tapenade originates, according to the book Jacques Pepin’s Table.

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If you are wondering why it’s named after capers and not olives — the key ingredient — award-winning author and Mediterranean food expert Clifford A. Wright writes on his website (Cliffordawright.com) that capers were brought to Provence from Crete by the Phocaeans, Greeks from Asia Minor who settled near Marseilles in the sixth century BC.

Wrights says the flower buds, the part of the caper used for culinary purposes, were preserved with olive oil in vessels called amphoras. He notes the capers became mushed together in those amphoras and formed a kind of paste of crushed tapeno (capers). Wright calls this the ancestor of the modern tapenade.

These days, although capers and olive oil are still used, olives are by volume the main ingredient in tapenade. It’s also often flavoured with anchovies.

Other blends of tapenade include those accented with such things as truffles, herbs, dried fruit and sun-dried tomatoes.

Green Olive and Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade (Prep. time: 5 minutes)

Makes: About 2 cups (500 mL)

11/2 cups (375 mL) pitted green olives | 8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained | 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest | 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice | 1 tbsp (15 mL) capers | 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced | 3 anchovy fillets | 1/4 cup (60 mL) coarsely chopped fresh oregano or basil | 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well-combined, but still slightly coarse in texture. Do not turn into a very smooth paste.
  • Transfer the tapenade to a tight-sealing container and refrigerate until needed. It will keep at least 2 weeks. Warm the tapenade to room temperature before serving.

Continue reading

How The Olive Compound Hydroxytyrosol Helps Stop Infections

A compound found naturally in olives helps fight bacterial infections, according to an international patent application by Spanish scientists.

They say hydroxytyrosol and derivatives of it can disrupt quorum sensing (QS) – a way in which bacteria ‘talk’ to each other – thereby making infections less virulent. With antibiotic resistance increasing, this is seen as a promising way of treatment.

Madrid-based patent applicant Seprox Biotech, which sells hydroxytyrosol (HT), claims that HT and its derivatives hydroxytyrosol acetate (HTA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) have good anti-QS activity, making them useful for preventing and treating many kinds of infections.

hydroxytyrosol

Potential usage

It said in its application that in vivo uses could include pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of bacterial infection. Ex vivo uses include in the manufacture of food, food packaging, medical devices and pharmaceutical compositions, including application to or use in the making of surfaces – such as in medical devices and foods or food packaging – to inhibit formation of bacterial biofilm.

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Table Olive Processing (Method 1)

fermentationThis method is similar to the natural fermentation process we use. It allows the sugars in the olives to ferment and form lactic acid. The end result will be well worth the effort and the wait. All the wonderful flavours are preserved and this gives the olives its delicious taste.

 Green Olives:

  • Green olives are soaked in a caustic soda solution of between 1,3 and 2,6% for ±15 hours. The time may vary according to the size and ripeness of the fruit. After a few hours, take out an olive and make a cut through the flesh. When the lye has penetrated two thirds of the distance between the surface of the fruit and the pit, it is ready to be washed.
  • Also try to prevent the olives from coming into contact with air, as this can cause the colour to go dark or an unattractive khaki green. Keep in an airtight container (stainless steel, glass or high grade plastic will not affect the taste) through the entire process.
  • In the mean time prepare the brine by dissolving 1 kilogram of salt in 10 litres of clean water.
  • Now rinse the olives many times with clean, cold water to remove soapiness and caustic residue. This step is very important, because you don’t want your olives to taste of caustic soda or “soapy”.
  • Place the olives into a suitable container and cover completely with the brine. Make sure the container has a tight fitting lid.
  • Leave to ferment ±12 months. Taste them from time to time and decide for yourself when they are to your taste.

Bottling: Remove from the brine, rinse with clean water and place into glass jars and cover with hot brine. To make the brine solution: 20g Salt mixed into 1 liter boiling water. Cover immediately and leave to cool. Store in a cool place and refrigerate after opening.  Wine vinegar may be added to taste. You may even add sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme or a few cloves of garlic or lemon slices.

Continue reading

The Blue Cheese Martini

Meet the Willy Wonka of extraordinary cocktails

p11-joe-mixology-a-20140611-200x200Contrary to expectation, the Blue Cheese Martini at the Akasaka branch of Code Name Mixology is a subtle concoction. The cocktail is clear, served in a delicate crystal glass, with three olives on the side. The cheese aroma hovers faintly on the nose, but the first sip is mildly sweet and fruity. The character of the drink changes completely after eating one of the olives: The blue-cheese flavor billows across the palate, mingling with the briny spiciness of the olive. As the savory sensation recedes, hints of pear and lemon rise to the surface, followed by an earthy smokiness in the finish.

It’s a moment that reminds me of the scene in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” where eccentric candy maker Willy Wonka unveils his Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum. Code Name Mixology owner and head bartender Shuzo Nagumo has created a salad of contrasting flavors in liquid form — without the unpleasant side effects of Wonka’s invention.

Continue reading

Springtime means it’s time to say cheese

Feuilette of goat’s curd with olive tapenade (Serves 4)24076738

300g puff pastry

Flour for dusting

250g goat’s curd or soft goat’s cheese (see the note in step 4 regarding goat’s cheese as an alternative)

12 pitted black olives sliced in quarters

4 radishes sliced in rounds

Extra virgin olive oil

Picked herbs such as chervil and tarragon to finish plus a few salad leaves for scattering

For the tapenade:

150g pitted black olives

2 anchovy fillets, optional

1 dessertspoon of small capers

1 tsp of thyme leaves

2-3 dessertspoon extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of around 2-3mm. Cut eight neat even-sized rectangles (two per portion) measuring around 3cm wide and 10 or 12cm long. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and chill for at least an hour. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4.

2. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the pastry and cover with a light baking sheet, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes, turning the tray half way through. Check the pastry: the sheets should be light golden brown but crisp and cooked. Cook a little longer if they need a few minutes more. Remove the top tray for the last few minutes if you think the pastry looks too pale in colour. Remove from the oven to cool and, once cold, store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

3. For the tapenade: place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food mixer and process to a paste, then add the oil and blitz in to incorporate. Refrigerate until needed.

4. Transfer the goat’s curd into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Refrigerate until needed. Regarding goat’s curd: you can find this in larger delis or good cheese shops and it possesses a lightness of texture and a delicate taste which I find irresistible. If you struggle to find it, buy instead a very soft textured, creamy goat’s cheese (about 150g) then scrape off any outer membrane or coating and discard. Place the goat’s cheese in a small mixing bowl and add one or two spoonfuls of double cream and stir in to soften and loosen.

5. To assemble: lay the eight puff pastry rectangles out on a clean surface, four of these will be bases and four will be lids or upper levels of the feuillete. On each piece, pipe two strips of goat’s curd down the full length. Scatter the sliced olives all over. Now cover the four base pieces by lifting the four upper sections and place these four lids on the four bases, with the goat’s cheese facing upwards.

6. Put a small dab of tapenade on one side of the plate and, with the help of a spatula, lift the pastry onto the plate, the dab of tapenade will help to keep it in place. Do the same for all four. Now spoon some tapenade onto the plate next to the pastry. Scatter with radishes, herbs and salald leaves then drizzle with olive oil and serve at once.

Goat’s cheese and thyme soufflé

This is baked and served in wide oven-proof bowls, not the traditional soufflé ramekin, making it easier to prepare and serve and quicker to cook. Makes six bowls.

30g unsalted butter at room temperature

Clove of garlic

200g freshly grated parmesan

6 free range eggs, separated

400g soft goat’s cheese

150ml double cream

1 rounded dessertspoon of chopped thyme leaves

Salt, pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6. Peel the clove of garlic then rub it round the inside of the bowls. Brush the softened butter inside the bowls, coming three quarters of the way up the bowl.

2. Place the parmesan in the first bowl and shake it round so it covers the butter, sticking to the inside of the plate, then tip the parmesan into the next plate and continue until all are dusted and lined with the parmesan. There should be a little left, set this aside.

3. Whisk the egg yolks until smooth and slightly thickened, then add the goat’s cheese and repeat to combine thoroughly. Add the thyme, seasoning and then stir in the cream to mix. This can be done to this stage in advance, up to two hours.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold carefully into the mixture base. Divide between the prepared bowl and sprinkle on the last of the parmesan.

5. Place on a baking sheet (or over several if necessary) and bake in the oven until puffy and golden and just set in the middle, about 8 – 10 minutes. When serving, remember to warn guests that the bowls are piping hot.

Geoffrey Smeddle is the chef patron of The Peat Inn by St Andrews, Fife Ky15 5LH 01334 840206 www.thepeatinn.co.uk

(source: http://www.heraldscotland.com/)

Pruning Chalkidiki olive tree’s

20140330_114008Here are some photos depicting the pruning process in the Inolivia ® olive grove at . The pruner climbs into the tree and forms the shape of the tree and its branches in way that air easily ventilates the tree. After pruning the tree best exploits the sunlight and rainfall occur in the area of cultivation. However, pruning is an art work. A good pruner of olive trees can be compared to an artist where talent and technique are moulded together. Our ancestors used to say that an olive tree should be pruned in a form for a bird to easily fly through the tree from all directions. To our view and after decades of experience, we believe that pruning is the most important process in the olive tree cultivation procedure. Thus, we trust the same pruning team for years now. “Like father like son“. Pruning in Banavas Estate® happens twice a year, mid-March and July, with our team of experienced pruners.

The main aims of pruning are summarized below:

  •  20140330_113853To give to the tree the best shape under the certain soil-climate conditions
  •  To balance vegetation with fruit yield
  •  To minimize the non bearing period
  •  To prolong the productivity of the olive grove
  •  To delay senescence

20140330_113952In Banavas Estate®, the cuttings, the branches removed from the olive tree, remain grinded in the grove for enriching the soil with organic substances. Bearing that most farmers usually burn the tree branches pruned, by grinding them we support the reduction of the carbon emmissions and the global warming.  

 

Happy Farming,

Inolivia – Banavas Estate

Stuffed & Fried Bar Olives

Olives are a very popular snack. They can be found in anything from cocktails to healthy salads. They add a delicious flavor to anything they touch and even taste great alone. This recipe for Stuffed and Fried Bar Olives is an interesting way to serve up olives. These are a delicious alternative to snatching them out of the jar.

Stuffed-Olives3

The recipe is quicks and easy to execute. A food processor is needed to grind up the almonds. The olives are stuffed with a cream cheesy mixture that consists of cream cheese, spicy chorizo, and smoky almonds. These would go great with either an ice cold beer or a glass of wine. Imagine the salty flavor of the olive mixed with the chorizo, almonds and cream cheese. These are definitely something to try.

Stuffed-Olives4

Source: Oui Chef Network (Stuffed and Fried Bar Olives)

European olives feed biofuel innovation

European olives are treasured for their oil, and as a zesty snack in their own right. Now researchers are also using them to make biofuel. They’re hoping to reduce CO2 output while making olive growing more profitable.biofuel1

Scientists and engineers at Vienna’s University of Technology are laboring over a shiny steel construction standing almost two storeys high. It’s a new generation “gasification plant,” which the university pioneered a couple of decades ago. It turns biomass into gas, and in Austria and a number of other European countries, that gas is used to run generators and produce electricity.

The problem operators now face is buying biomass to feed these power plants at a price which makes them competitive with other renewable and fossil fuel energy sources. With prices for wood and biofuel crops on the increase, the European Union is funding a project called which aims to turn the pomace – what’s left of the olive after its oil is pressed out – into biofuel.

“When you look at the olive mill operator he wants to get as much as possible out of the olive, and he tries everything he can to get as much out if it as possible,” Stefan Müller, a senior researcher at the university’s , told DW.

Müller is part of a team exploring the energy potential of olive pomace. He lines up bottles of the olive residue on his desk. Some are identifiable as the remains of olives, others look more like dark beach sand. Müller calls the dark sand material “olivine,” and explains it’s the feed stock for the gasification plant.

“At the end we have these residues and there isn’t much olive oil left in there. So this is a kind of waste material from an olive mill, but it still has quite a high energy content.”

More than just a canapé

biofuel4

The Phenolive project, co-funded by the European Union, involves pressing every last drop of value out of the olive. At the Phenobia Laboratory, a start-up enterprise begun by the University of Bordeaux, scientists also play a role in the Phenolive project. They are identifying compounds which can be taken from the olive pomace after it has given up its oil and before it’s turned into energy.
“The laboratory specializes in the analysis of phenols in different types of raw materials for finished products such as cosmetics, food supplements or food,” Director Xavier Vitra told France’s LaBiotech web site. He added that extracting the polyphenols will add value to the pomace.

The polyphenols from olive residue are used as antioxidant additives in foods as well as nutritional supplements and cosmetics. In Europe it’s estimated the market will be worth 290 million euros ($404 million) annually within a few years, according to the Phenolive web site.

“We’re very conscious about using the resources we have and that’s why these waste materials are in focus now, to use them to provide high valuable products,” adds Stefan Müller.

Keeping energy down on the farm

biofuel3

The new gasification plant being developed at Vienna’s University of Technology is small enough to be built on site at large olive plantations and olive presses. The energy it produces is intended for use within the olive oil enterprise.

“It’s important that you use the energy nearby the plant where you generate the residues so the plan is to cover the electricity demand and the heat demand of the olive oil mill with the gasification of these residues,” says Müller, adding that it also relieves the olive processors of the cost of disposing of their residues.

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Some olive pomace is already burnt as a fuel in olive producing areas of Europe however Müller’s aim is to analyze the residue and fully investigate its energy potential. Other uses for pomace include compost and fertiliser.

The university’s research team also points to the work they are doing on producing liquid fuels from biomass, and say this has the potential to allow the olive industry to run its transport vehicles on fuel produced from the olive residue. A gasification plant the team developed at Güssing, Austria, is already producing liquid fuels for vehicles.

“It’s a bio-refinery, that’s the idea. It’s renewables producing our fuels for the future,” says engineer Johannes Schmid. His aim, he says, is to demonstrate refineries do not have to burn fossil fuels.

Europe produces 80 million tonnes of olive oil pomace every year, according to the Phenolive project. If the scientists are successful, the venture could boost the olive growing industry and see costs, particularly for energy, significantly reduced.

(Source DW: http://www.dw.de/european-olives-feed-biofuel-innovation/a-17495142)

Meatless Monday: Marinated chickpeas with olives, roasted red peppers and raisins over mixed greens

This is a nice sweet, salty salad with a bit of a nutty undertone, thanks to the walnut oil. No dressing required. Just spoon the chickpea mixture over top of fresh, bright baby greens, and enjoy!

by Caitlin Sanigameatlessmonday

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red pepper
  • 6 pitted kalamata olives or chalkidiki (Inolivia), sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 6 cups mixed baby greens (I used spinach, frisee and arugula.)

In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, raisins, red pepper, olives, parsley and scallions. Pour the olive oil over top and season with the salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Divide the greens among 4 bowls. Top with the chickpea salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: so hungry I could blog

 

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts, Sausage and Olives

artichoke-sausage-pastaSpaghetti with Artichoke Hearts, Sausage and Olives
Serves 2 generously

3 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces spicy sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 roughly chopped green olives
salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces uncooked dry spaghetti

Start a large pot of water to cook pasta. While water is coming to a boil, prep the other ingredients. As the water reaches boiling, heat olive oil in medium sauté pan over medium flame. Salt pasta water generously and start cooking pasta.

Add sausage to sauté pan and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes. Make a hole in the middle of the pan and add onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Toss onion and sausage to combine, then make another hole and cook garlic until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Mix everything together, then make one last hole and add tomato paste. Cook paste for 1 or 2 minutes, pressing it into the pan to brown slightly.

Add a ladleful of pasta water to the pan (about 1/2 cup). Add artichoke hearts and olives and toss everything to combine. Reduce heat to low. Season lightly with salt and generously with black pepper.

When pasta is on the very al dente side of done, drain (reserving additional pasta water) and add to sauté pan. Toss to combine and let cook for a minute or so to let pasta absorb some of the sauce, adding more pasta water by tablespoonfuls as needed (I added about 3 tablespoons). There won’t be a sauce per se with this dish; it’s more a coloring and coating (and flavoring) of the pasta.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide between two shallow bowls and serve.

(Forwarded from http://www.blue-kitchen.com/)

Innovation | Exploiting the Gifts of Olives Beyond the Kitchen

By LUCIANA SQUADRILLI on January 31, 2014

So you think extra virgin olive oil is only good to season your salad? Chefs and pastry-chefs already prove that extra virgin can play a leading role among other, more classical ingredients in their original and elaborate recipes. But lately, companies and researchers all over the world are experimenting with new applications, exploiting the olive’s inner qualities such as taste, health benefits or as a power source.ecomat

In 2009, Italian designer Giulio Patrizi launched Eco Fast Furniture, a completely sustainable outdoor furniture range being made of totally recycled and recyclable material, Ecomat, derived from the waste of olive oil production. Created for the Mediterranean Design Competition the project received a special mention at the Istanbul Design Week for innovative use of materials. More lately, a research group leaded by Maurizio Servili at Perugia University in Italy has been working on possible uses of olive mill leftovers to make building and fuel material.

But olive oil’s exploitation can go even further.

jeansAs already reported on Olive Oil Times by Julie Butler, Wrangler, the world-famous American manufacturer specialized in denim clothing, launched moisturizing jeans with olive oil, along with the soothing and “anti-cellulite” ones, based on aloe vera and caffeine. The moisturizing effect is guaranteed by the olive oil component squalene, a powerful hydrator that has the same structure to a lipid found naturally in human skin so that it can easily penetrate the upper layers.

The French blog Passion Olive author Bastien Milhau collects stories and odd facts about extra virgin: like the olive liqueur traditionally made in the Gard – a southern France department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region – through the distillation of black olives in pure alcohol and sugar and brought back to life by a local craft distiller.

liquorIn Apulia – at Italy’s southern far end – we can find another traditional olive liqueur made by extra virgin olive oil producer Cazzetta following an ancient recipe by the Basilian monks. The old recipe was found in an ancient underground olive mill and is made using grappa and local Cellina di Nardò and Ogliarola Salentina olives.

olive-gumA Spanish company recently launched Air-lift, a line of dental gums expressly conceived to fight bad breath, plaque and tartar thanks to a formula based on olive oil. A patented combination of extra virgin olive oil, xylitol and fluoride traps and flushes the VSC (Volatile Sulfur Compounds, responsible for bad breath) without altering the natural balance of the mouth.

In Southern Italy where olive groves are common, locals used to make teas to take all the flavor and benefits from the olive trees without wasting the precious fruits. The most tender leaves were hand-picked and slowly dried under the sun or in special ovens ensuring the maximum content of anti-oxidants and oleuropein is maintained.olive-leaves

This ancient usage has been rediscovered by the company Mirabilia whose olive groves, according to their website, “are situated on an ancient archaeological site – Cluviae – once home to the Sanniti tribes, who cultivated their olives on the very same wide Abruzzan plateau in Roman times.”