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The European Union has teamed up with Spanish Inter-Professional Table Olive Organization, INTERACEITUNA, and Michelin-starred chef José Andrés to launch an olives campaign directed at U.S. consumers. The goal of the campaign—“A tasty message from Europe. Have an Olive Day”—is to raise awareness of the versatility, flavor, nutrition, and rich history of olive production in Europe, especially in Spain, the world leader in production and exports of table olives.
The campaign will run through 2019 and will seek to educate U.S. consumers on the different variations of European olives and their culinary uses. It will focus on U.S. regions with high olive consumption, including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Production of olives for olive oil in Portugal is expected to have fallen by 30 percent in 2016 to less than 500,000 tonnes, and the autumn/winter grain growing area to have fallen to an “all-time low” according to projections from the National Statistics Institute.
According to INE, the drop in olive production for oil was the result of “adverse weather and the annual production rotation of traditional olive groves,” and expects total production of about 491,000 tonnes
(-30 percent against 2015), but “good quality” olive oil.
As for autumn/winter grains there was a “general reduction of installed areas,” compared to the previous year due to periods of intense cold and a lack of rain.
INE’s projections point to drops of around 5 percent in rye area, 10 percent in common wheat, triticale and barley and of 15 percent for durum wheat, with a total grain area of around 130,000 hectares, “which is the lowest recorded in the last three decades, in a year in which weather conditions made it possible for planting to go ahead as normal.”
2x160g salmon fillet; salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste; a dash of cayenne pepper; olive oil for drizzling; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; some shredded purple cabbage; 1 mini yellow capsicum, halved and sliced; fresh salad leaves like curly endives, etc.
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar; 1 tbsp honey; salt to taste; 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 tsp capers, chopped; 3 green olives, sliced
For the dressing
In a small mixing bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey and salt. Stir to dissolve the salt before drizzling in the olive oil; whisk with a fork or small wire whisk until emulsified. Toss in the capers and green olives. Set aside.
Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and cook for 2-3 minutes each side, or until cooked to your liking. Remove from grill. Add the garlic cloves and grill according to your taste. Remove garlic.
Divide the cabbage, capsicum and salad leaves between two serving plates. Place a slice of salmon and a garlic clove on each plate and drizzle the balsamic dressing over the salad. Serve.
A fabulous quartet of flavours – the richness of the cream cheese is cut through with the acidity of lemon and the earthy tang of olives.
100g olives, pitted
250g cream cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Add the pitted olives to a blender and blend until almost smooth.
2 Transfer the olive mix to a fine sieve and sit it over a bowl to drain any excess liquid – around 5 minutes should do it. However, if your olives were in liquid it might take a little longer.
3 Next, add the cream cheese to a mixing bowl with the olives, lemon juice and black pepper. Carefully fold together until incorporated.
4 Place a round pastry cutter in the centre of a serving plate, add the paté and tamp down. Remove the ring and serve with some dressed leaves and hot toast.
Andrew Dargue, vanillablack.co.uk
Grilling a whole fish sounds daunting, but it’s incredibly simple and requires almost no preparation before cooking it.
This recipe is courtesy of Epicurious.
Whisk together lemon zest, juice, salt, and pepper. Pour in the olive oil in a stream, whisking until combined well. Whisk in olives and chopped oregano.
With a sharp paring knife, make 1-inch long slits at 2-inch intervals down the middle of the fish, on both sides. Brush the fish all over with vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper. Season fish cavity with salt and pepper, and fill the cavity with 3 lemon slices and 3 oregano sprigs. Arrange remaining lemon slices and oregano sprigs on top of fish and tie fish closed with kitchen string.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open the vents on the bottom of the grill before lighting the charcoal.
Grill fish on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using gas grill, for 15 minutes. Turn fish over using a metal spatula and tongs, and grill for 15 more minutes, until just cooked through.
Transfer fish to a large serving platter, remove kitchen string, and pour lemon-olive sauce over the top before serving.
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This diabetes-friendly meal is perfect for a quick summer supper that the whole family will enjoy. A chicken pita pocket is garnished with a tomato and corn salsa and served with a Greek salad.
There are many myths about diabetes. One is that people with diabetes need to follow a special diet. According to the American Diabetes Association, “people with diabetes benefit from the same healthy diet that is good for everyone else.” This includes foods low in saturated and trans fats, moderate salt and sugar intake and meals based on lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fruit. For more information go to www.diabetes.org. ….
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves | 2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing | 2 cups washed, ready-to-eat lettuce | 2 cups peeled and sliced cucumbers | 7 green or black olives
Mix oregano and vinaigrette dressing in a medium-size salad bowl. Add the lettuce, cucumber, and olives. Toss with dressing. Makes 2 servings.
Read more at source: http://www.miamiherald.com
Olives are one of those unique foods that don’t only taste delicious, but also offer many health benefits. It is however important to learn how to choose a good table olive, since they vary extensively in appearance, flavour and texture.
We asked the South African Olive Industry Association how to choose a good table olive. Here are a few pointers:
The first characteristic to take important notice of is of course the appearance of the olive. The olive must always looks physically appealing and it must make you want to eat it immediately. Physical defects are not good.
Next important point is smell. A good olive will always smell great. The aroma will give a good indication of how the processing was managed as most of the volatile components are a result of the fermentation process. If not fermented, the aroma is usually that of the added ingredients, like garlic, herbs and various other flavourings. An off-fermentation will be noticeable on the nose, and any off-odour is totally unacceptable in quality table olives.
Right so now we get to the taste. As with anything, taste and flavour are very subjective, so we always suggest that newbies to olives start with a blander product, just like they start new wine drinkers with a sweeter wine. Once hooked on these little delicacies, then move onto products with more flavour, the natural olive flavour in particular. A fully fermented table olive should display a balance between the natural flavour of the fruit, the natural lactic acid and the added salt and vinegar.
A good table olive should have a degree of firmness in the flesh, without being tough or woody. The skin should not be too tough and the flesh should detach from the pit quite easily. The texture is determined by many factors, but most importantly is when the olives are harvested and cultivated. The methods of processing play an important role, which can either maintain the texture of the olive or compromise it.
5. Final tip
It’s important to experience as many different styles and flavours as possible and in so doing, build up a profile of the olives you like.
Olives are often used for flavoring or garnishing food, while olive oil is often used to cook other foods. However olive is eaten, it has high nutritious value. These black or green nut-shaped fruits have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can protect you against heart diseases, cancer, and other inflammatory diseases like asthma and arthritis. Studies have also found that when unhealthy fats in one’s diet is replaced (yes, unhealthy fats still need to be eliminated) with healthy olive fats or olive oil, LDL cholesterol levels could drop by 18%. A double-blind-placebo-controlled study also found that extracts of olive leaves helped reduce blood pressure in those with hypertension. Olives are rich in an omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid. A study published in the Annals of Oncology reported that oleic acid found in olive oil can help significantly cut the expression of a breast-cancer-promoting-gene by up to 46%. Studies have also found that diabetic patients who ate meals with olive oil gained better control of their blood sugar than those who ate low-fat meals without olive oil. Beside being an excellent source of healthy fats, olives are also filled with iron, vitamin E, and fiber.
 Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.
 Murray, Michael, ND., Pizzorno, Joseph, ND., and Pizzorno, Lara, MA, LMT. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books, 2005. Print.
Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.
THE 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.