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Olive Oil

February 9, 2013 | By David Karp
As part of a great California olive oil boom, now at least a dozen olive oil vendors are selling at local farmers markets, up from only a couple a decade ago. Most offer a good product, but there are few who, like Michael O'Brien of Paso Gold , provide local, fresh, high-quality, certified organic oil, sold by the farmer himself in the agricultural section of the market. The combination of new varieties from Europe, high-density systems and mechanized harvest led to a surge in plantings of olives for oil, from a few hundred acres two decades ago to about 30,000 today, said Paul Vossen , a University of California farm advisor.
December 8, 2012 | By Michael Doyle
WASHINGTON — California olive oil producer Pat Ricchiuti feels the squeeze of foreign competition. So do his counterparts in Texas, Georgia and a handful of other states. Now, with the help of congressional allies, these leading U.S. olive oil producers are forcing a closer look at a tough global market. In a U.S. International Trade Commission hearing this week, officials ratcheted up a yearlong investigation that could end up pitting importers against domestic producers and one country against another.
January 25, 2014 | By David Pierson
ARTOIS, Calif. - Nestled in a corner of the Sacramento Valley known for its rice, almonds and walnuts, densely packed rows of manicured olive trees stretch toward the horizon. This 1,700-acre spread is the domain of California Olive Ranch, an upstart company with big ambitions. The U.S. is the world's No. 3 consumer of olive oil, drizzling 293,000 metric tons of the stuff over salads and pizzas last year. Yet almost every drop was produced overseas in countries including Spain, Italy and Greece.
Olive oil is relatively new to many Americans, although it has been a Mediterranean cooking staple for centuries. Here are answers to questions American consumers often ask about olive oil. Question: Can you tell by the color of an olive oil what the taste will be? Answer: More intensely colored oils tend to have a stronger, more olive-like flavor, but that rule is not totally reliable. Some oils are blends of several varieties.
October 29, 1989 | RUTH REICHL
AUTHOR LAWRENCE DURRELL, in what is undoubtedly the best flavor description of all time, said that olives have a taste as old as water. If you want to know what he was really talking about, you'll want to try oil from olive trees that really are old. Now you can--the world's most ancient olive oil has just hit town. Souri olives have been cultivated in Galilee for thousands of years. There were so many olive trees in the region that the Prophet Mohammed dubbed Jerusalem "the City of the Olives."
June 22, 1995 | RUSS PARSONS
If you are a lover of olive oil, now is the time to stock up. "The tip from the Italian cognoscenti is to buy as much as you can consume," says Piero Selvaggio, who certainly fits that description as owner of Valentino, Primi and Posto restaurants. Selvaggio says the price he's paying for oil has recently increased from 20% to 30%. "And it looks like it will only go higher and higher." What's the cause? Depending on whom you ask, it's droughts, floods or plain old politics.
March 10, 1988 | HERB HAIN
Pat Clancy of Fullerton is hungering for Peloponnese Agoureleo extra virgin olive oil from Greece. The item seems to have disappeared, although Chris of C & K Imports in Los Angeles says they carry other brands of the oil. Can you hold out an olive branch to Clancy, or, since the whole thing is Greek to her, will this be only another instance of oil over troubled waters?
April 14, 2011 | By P.J. Huffstutter
The food fight over the purity of extra virgin olive oil has boiled up again. The UC Davis Olive Center and the Australian Oils Research Laboratory released on Wednesday a second research report that found nearly three-quarters of the samples they tested of top-selling imported olive oil brands failed international extra virgin standards. The report follows a similar study the two research centers conducted last summer, which slammed imported olive oils and said that two-thirds of common brands of extra-virgin olive oil found in California grocery stores aren't what they claim to be. Wednesday's report, entitled "Evaluation of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Sold in California," drew a larger group of samples from fewer brands ?
April 27, 2013 | By Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreño
Call me old-fashioned, but I am not a fan of the current trend wherein bacon, avocado and other ingredients normally considered staples of savory cooking are used to make desserts, instead of, say, a BLT. The only exception to this rule, and it's an exception I make more than once, is olive oil. Although we normally think of olive oil as something to use to make a vinaigrette, sauté soffrito or season meat, when used in a dessert, the flavor of...
June 14, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
We've all been to catered events where the main finger food is a big bowl of chilled broccoli and cauliflower florets meant to dip in a bowl of ranch dressing or cheesy dip. It's not all that wine-friendly, really. That dressing can kill the wine, not to mention the vegetal taste of the raw broccoli especially. If you love good olive oil, pinzimonio is the way to go. It's an Italian antipasti of raw vegetables to dip in peppery extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Tuscan. Sometimes, it's just raw carrots and celery stuck in a jar. More often, it's those gorgeous baby purple artichokes so tender they can be eaten raw. And when you get lucky, it can be a beautifully assembled platter of all sorts of vegetables.
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