February 9, 2013 |
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.
October 9, 2011 |
The anonymous stone building on the outskirts of Civitella, my Umbrian hilltop village, was a mystery to me. Every time I drove past, it was shut up and seemingly deserted. But on one moonless night in November, lights blazed through the dirt-encrusted windows, and tractors, trailers, little Fiat 500s and the three-wheeled trucks called Apé were strewn across the road outside. I stopped my car, pushed open the building's iron door and stepped into a room filled with the rush of warm air and the clanking of heavy machinery.
September 27, 1990 |
Cliff Graber, president of the Graber Olive House in Ontario, surfs, skis and skateboards with the reckless abandon of a teen-ager. He'll be 53 in December. Edna Bachstein has helped four generations of Grabers pick, pickle and pack their famous tree-ripened Manzanillo olives. At 91, she's still on the job. So are Marguerite Larned, 77, and Inez Bjorkman, 67, who together have 85 years of service with the company.
August 23, 2000 |
California's olive growers are battling a tiny Mediterranean pest that farmers say could devastate their industry in just a few years if it continues to spread at its current rapid pace. Found just two years ago on ornamental trees in backyards and highway medians throughout Southern California, the pinhead-sized olive fruit fly has since migrated into the San Joaquin Valley, the heart of the state's $100-million commercial olive industry.
October 10, 2001 |
The olive may have been domesticated twice. It's indigenous to Syria and Palestine, and botanists think there was also a spiny variety that was native to the island of Crete. But olives and olive oil have always been important trade goods throughout the Mediterranean, so a lot of crossbreeding has taken place throughout the centuries, which may be why the spiny olive no longer exists as such.
September 3, 1987 |
People who will not eat fish because they are afraid of bones often can be coaxed into trying swordfish, which is a white-fleshed fish without small bones. Swordfish has gained in popularity during the last few years, both in restaurants and at home, because it also has a great flavor, particularly when grilled or broiled. During a recent visit to Toronto, I dined at Orso, a popular Northern Italian restaurant.