Olive Oil, Honey Could Help Lift Greece Out of Recession

iFM0QgSNILGoGreek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is calling on manufacturers of traditional foods and beverages, from fish-roe producers to honey makers, to play a bigger role in transforming the country into an export economy.

Greece, which saw exports fall 0.2 percent to 27.3 billion euros ($37.5 billion) in 2013, needs food and beverage companies to catch up with export-oriented industries like fuels and do more to help pull the country out of a six-year recession, Samaras told industry representatives on the island of Lesvos May 13.

More Greek food companies, some of whom were forced to look for sales outside their traditional home market as the crisis shrank the economy, should focus “on processing agricultural produce in order to bring Greek products to international markets,” Samaras said. “Today, 200 large companies account for 85 percent of production while 17,000 small and medium-sized companies have huge potential.”

elies-agrotesGreek exports of agricultural products including food, beverages and vegetable oils rose 3.5 percent by value in 2013 to 4.75 billion euros, according to the Panhellenic Exporters Association. At around 17 percent of the total value of Greek exports, the food and beverage industry trails fuels and industrial goods like machinery and chemical products as the country’s top export category.

Greece’s economy contracted at its slowest pace in four years in the first quarter, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said May 15. The European Commission forecasts that Greek GDP will grow 0.6 percent this year, its first annual expansion since 2007.

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

Spain Sets Up Watchdog to Target ‘Strategic’ Food Industries, specially Olives and Olive Oil

watchdog1Spain, the largest maker of olive oil, set up a watchdog for “strategic” food industries to bring transparency to agricultural markets and help probe wrongdoings.

Olives, olive oil and milk are among the products initially monitored under a law published today in the Official Bulletin. The Agriculture Ministry will fund the agency to enforce rules on production and ensure the “truth and integrity” of data on the origin, destination and characteristics of raw materials.

The regulator will have a role in investigating breaches and issuing penalties, according to the law, which establishes the statutes for the Food Information & Control Agency.

Spain’s olive-oil output in the first half of the 2013-2014 season from October rose to 1.75 million metric tons, almost triple the 608,900 tons in the same period a year earlier, the ministry said today. About 30 percent of output was exported.

The commodity used in everything from salads to skin care has traditionally been dominated by Mediterranean growers. With rising competition from Argentina and Chile and upstart groves in California, China and Australia, some in the market have sought more price and data transparency from major producers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd White in Madrid at twhite2@bloomberg.net

(source: http://www.businessweek.com)

Shaved Carrots with Olives & Almonds

Gather purple, yellow and white varieties of carrots together for this colorful salad, which is an easy way to elevate the humble spring root vegetable. The shavings are as delicious as they are beautiful, curled around briny green olives and toasty almonds, and sprinkled with fragrant cumin.


Shaved Carrots with Olives & Almonds

1 lb. (500 g.) multicolored carrots

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) pitted green olives

1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g.) lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) almonds, toasted and crushed

Using a mandoline, shave the carrots lengthwise into thin ribbons. Transfer to a bowl. On a cutting board, coarsely chop together the olives and parsley. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice and cumin seeds and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the olive mixture to the carrots and toss well. Arrange on plates, sprinkle with the almonds, and serve. Serves 4.

(source: http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/)

Raw Cashew Cheese with Oil Cured Olives and Fresh Tarragon

Raw cashews are the perfect base for vegan cheeses and creams. They have lots of fat (flavor) but feature no dominant taste, so they are perfect for soaking and blending with other spices and ingredients. This recipe has been adapted from Chad Sarno‘s Cashew Cheese recipe, featured in VegNews. I’ve added some oil cured olives here for some saltiness and texture and layered it here with fresh chopped tarragon, which gives it a hint of herbiness and anise. The flavors worked really well here—the use of a ring mold to layer everything here isn’t necessary, but it does fancy it up nicely if you’re into that kind of thing.

2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
1 teaspoon (or the contents of about 6 capsules) New Chapter Probiotics All-Flora powder, dissolved in 1 1/2 cup of warm water
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 TB onion powder
1/2 TB garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
12 oil cured olives, depitted and chopped
4 TB fresh tarragon, chopped

In a high-speed blender, blend soaked cashews with probiotic mixture until smooth. Line a large fine mesh strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth or a tea towel and, using a spatula, scrape the cheese mixture onto the towel. Wrap the corners of the cheesecloth or towel up and over the cheese and twist the top until the mixture is sealed in. Place the mesh strainer into a bowl to catch any moisture that may seep through.

Place a weight on top of the cheese mixture. A heavy jug will work, but I like to use a sandwich bag with change, as it applies an even amount of weight across the entire surface. Place in a warm spot (I place mine on a radiator), to culture for 14 to 16 hours. During this culturing process, the cheese will really develop a good depth of flavor.

5469946642_86c84b63d5Once culturing is complete, you can add in some other flavors to the cheese. In a small bowl, combine the cheese with nutritional yeast, onion and garlic powder powder, salt and white pepper. Blend well with a spatula.

To serve: Take a round ring mold and place it on a plate. (I use a 1.75 X 3 inch mold.) Using a spoon, place a 1-inch layer of cheese on the bottom of the mold and press gently but firmly. Add a layer of the chopped tarragon and then spoon another layer of cheese over that. Add a layer of chopped olives and then a final layer of cheese. To serve, simply lift the ring up.

This also travels well if you’d like to bring along to a potluck or party. Just lay some saran wrap under the ring mold with plenty of overhang and assemble as described in the paragraph above. Once completed, gather the edges at the top and tie off tightly with a twist tie. It holds everything together perfectly until ready to serve.

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

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.


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.


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

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


Home-Cured Olives, Step by Step

home cured 31. Cull any bruised, mushy or otherwise subpar olives. For home-curing, olives mildly affected by olive fruit fly are fine. According to UC Davis, a bad infestation will cause your fruit to rot, so curing right after harvest may impede rotting. I found about 1/5 of last year’s harvest affected, and I culled the most damaged olives. I discovered, however, that one or two holes left by larvae on less damaged olives allowed for quicker penetration of the lye, so this year, I left them. These olives turn out softer, which I like. You may also need to sort olives by size, since olives of differing sizes will absorb the lye at different rates. My olives were all the same variety and pretty much the same size.

2. Transfer to a container with a built-in spigot, like a cooler or a brewing bucket. The container should be food-grade plastic.

3. Use a quart jar or gallon jug to begin filling the bucket with enough water to cover the olives by an inch or so. Keep track of how much water you’ve used to fill. This amount determines how much lye you use (and later, how much salt).

4. When you determine how much water will cover the olives by a few inches, reserve some of the water to make your lye solution. For example, I used 7 quarts of water, estimating that one more quart was needed to cover the olives. So, I reserved one quart to mix the lye. To mix the lye, I wore gloves, long sleeves, pants, and a bandana wrapped around my nose and mouth.

5. I used granular lye at the rate of 3 TBS per gallon. Since 8 quarts equal 2 gallons, I mixed 6 TBS of lye into the quart jar of water. Be sure to stir gently to dissolve the lye, and be careful of the fumes created by mixing.

6. Add the lye solution to the olives slowly. Then stir everything gently (to mix, and to avoid splashing) with a stainless steel or wooden spoon.

7. Let the olives sit for 12 hours, stirring every two hours or so.

home cured 18. At the end of 12 hours, drain off the lye. I do this in the sink, running cold water the whole time it drains. I also wear my protective gear, as described above.

9. Fish out a few large olives with your stainless steel or wooden spoon and rinse under cold water. Test for lye penetration by cutting a segment of the olive away with a knife. When lye has penetrated to the pit, the flesh should be yellowish green all the way through. In my test olives, the flesh around the pits was still whitish and milky. This meant the olives needed another round of lye.

10. Again, fill olive container with water, reserving some of the water to make the lye solution (see #4 and #5).

11. Prepare lye solution as above (see #5). (Note: UC Davis’ new curing recommendations differ from their old ones at this point. I largely followed the old ones because they had worked for me last year.)

12. Let stand for 12 hours, then drain and test several large olives. If the lye has penetrated, you’re ready to rinse (see #14). If not, a third round of lye is necessary. I felt unsure whether my olives were done, so I decided to do a third round of lye.

13. I prepared a weaker lye solution at this point, mixing 2 TBS granular lye per gallon wearing my protective gear. I let the olives stand for another 12 hours.

14. After 12 hours, the lye test showed full penetration. I drained, then rinsed the olives twice by filling the bucket and draining it. Don’t forget to let cold water run in the sink while draining the lye.

15. After rinsing twice, I filled the bucket with cold water and let the olives stand for 12 hours. For the next 2-3 days, you drain and add cold water every 12 hours to leach out the lye. You do not have to measure the water for this step.

home cured 216. After 2-3 days, taste an olive to check for lye. Lye tastes soapy and feels soapy to the touch. When you can no longer taste the lye, you are ready for the next step. It may take up to 8 days to complete the leaching process.

17. I continued to drain and refill every 12 hours until day 6, when by taste and touch, I felt the lye had been thoroughly leached out.

18. The next steps depend on how long you wish to store your olives. We store ours in the fridge, so we follow the long-term storage recommendations, a two-step process. (You can also pressure-can them.)

(source: Overall Gardener blog)

Did you know that olives and olive oil fight cancer?

It has been repeatedly mentioned in many posts that consumption of olive oil creates a protection shield against many diseases among which it is cancer. Olive oil and olives are among the foods which can and should be consumed daily in one form or the other as part of the Mediterranean diet. You may use olive oil in salads as dressing, in foods when cooking and olives as a snack, in salads or when making a delicious olive pie! Olives and 20131118_olives_and_oilolive oil are major components of the Mediterranean diet and their medical properties have been recognized since the early days of civilization.

The healthy benefits resulting from the olive tree, known in scientific terms as Olea Europaea, have been well known to the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean region for the past 5000 years. The benefits from the leaves and the fruits of the Olive tree were fully exploited by civilizations like the Athenians and the Spartans. The olive tree was the Holy tree of the Athenians and the gift given by the goddess Athena.

Why are olive products beneficial for us? The reasons are many, and we would like you to know that consuming 3-4 olives day or 3 tablespoons of raw extra virgin olive oil protects your body from cancer. How? Olive oil contains a polyphenol calledhydroxytyrosol which destroys tumour cells and prevents their proliferation and expansion in the human body. Hydroxytyrosol is an antioxidant with anti-cancerous properties and many other positive effects on our health. These positive effects have been analysed and explained by many studies and articles by many authors and in many languages…. (more at http://www.mediterraneandietforall.com/did-you-know-that-olives-and-olive-oil-fight-cancer/)


Inolivia | Olives | Ideas


  • 250ml olive oil, 20131017_citrus_marinated
  • 300g green olives in brine,
  • 4 bay leaves,
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary,
  • 1-2 red chilies, seeded and sliced,
  • a few strips of lemon and orange rind,
  • 60ml red wine vinegar

Pour oil into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until just warm. Divide olives, bay leaves, rosemary, chili, rind and vinegar between sterilised glass jars. Pour over warm olive oil. Seal. Turn jars upside down and stand for five minutes. Turn upright. Allow to infuse for one week, turning once daily.


  • 250ml green olives, pitted,
  • 50ml chopped parsley,
  • 5ml chopped garlic,
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets,
  • 30-60ml olive oil

Put the olives, parsley, garlic and anchovies into a processor and process until finely chopped. With the machine running, add in the olive oil. Process until smooth. Store in a jar in the refrigerator and serve on slices of toasted baguette.

Inspired by Angela Day Kitchen-

Olive News | Αισιοδοξία για τις επιτραπέζιες ελιές

Αυξημένες οι εξαγωγές επιτραπέζιων ελιών και σε ποσότητα και σε αξία για το πρώτο τρίμηνο του 2012 σε σύγκριση με το αντίστοιχο του 2011.
Οι ποσότητες αυξήθηκαν κατά 9,3% από 26.560 σε 29.021 τόνους ενώ η αξία αυξήθηκε κατά 25,1%.
Είναι αισιόδοξο μήνυμα ότι έχουμε και αύξηση της μέσης τιμής πώλησης από 2.084 €/τόνο σε 2.386 €/τόνο δηλαδή κατά 14,5%.
Οι τρεις κύριοι προορισμοί είναι η αγορά των ΗΠΑ (5.448 τόνοι, +47,5%), η Γερμανία (4.797 τόνοι, +33,7%) και η Ιταλία για την οποία μειώθηκαν οι ποσότητες, όμως λόγω του σχεδόν διπλασιασμού της τιμής κατά +92,6% η αξία παρέμεινε σχεδόν σταθερή (+1%).
Η πηγή των παραπάνω είναι το τμήμα Στατιστικής του ΟΠΕ που επεξεργάζεται τα στοιχεία της ΕΛΣΤΑΤ.
Τέλος να σημειωθεί ότι φέτος η ισπανική παραγωγή επιτραπέζιων ελιών ανήλθε στους 519.850 τόνους και παρουσίασε μείωση κατά 14%.
Πηγή: olivenews.gr