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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Olio Nuovo Days: Celebrating New Virgin Olive Oil Harvest in Paris

Olio Nuovo 2019

Gourmet olive oil producers, specialists, chefs and foodies gathered in Paris for the fourth international Olio Nuovo Days Congress which took place 15 to 19 of January. Just as wine lovers in France celebrate the harvesting of the Beaujolais Nouveau, so do olive oil lovers.

Olio Nuovo takes place in January, the season for olive oil, as the oil is new. Oil that has recently been harvested and bottled is what connoisseurs like:  the olive oil is fresh and full of antioxidants.  Organizers made the Olive Oil celebrations more gastronomically delightful this year by adding two master classes of Extra Virgin Olive Oil at a prestigious Parisian hotel.

Olio Nuovo is a special time for proud olive oil producers; it’s a time to showcase their best freshly pressed oils and to compete with other olive oils in the Northern Hemisphere.
The event kicked off with the main competition where quality oils from Spain, Italy, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, Greece, Japan, and France were presented to the jury to be blind tasted. This year’s best olive oil came from Magic House Farm in Sicily with their ‘fruity green’ extra virgin oil called Valle deli Inferno. The jury awarded second prize to the Japanese extra virgin Takao.

Olio Nuovo 2019

Deciding if oil is exceptional is not an easy task.  Professional olive oil experts analyze the olive oil samples by looking, smelling and tasting. They first check the aroma. After deciding if the oil is intense medium or delicate oil they then taste for the fruitiness, bitterness and pungency, the three positive attributes of olive oil.  

Best Readability of the Label and Best Packaging Design

Winning the title of the best label at Olio Nuovo 2019 was the Tunisian exhibit Oleastra. The Best Packaging prize went to Bona Furtuna Farm.

Master Classes

Olio Nuovo 2019 was not just about judging the best olive oil. The general public was able to discover, appreciate and cook with the green nectar.  On the first day, participants learned how to choose and taste the oils with the olive oil experts while on the second day renowned French chefs took over allowing participants to learn more about the flavors of extra virgin olive oil at the legendary Ritz Hotel.

Teaching participants how to cook with olive oil is a broad subject, but the great thing about this Extra Virgin Class was the sharing of practical information, recognizing the different flavors and discussing the qualities of extra virgin olive oil.

The Tasting and Cooking with olive oil was a splendid experience for both beginners and culinary professionals at Olio Nuovo 2019.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

4 Tips For Keeping Your Face Healthy with Olive Oil

You don’t have to splurge on expensive makeup products.  Discover some healthy olive oil options.

                                                 Healthy Olive Oil for Beauty  

With so many beauty products on the market you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing your face. Some of them though are way too expensive and often contain harmful chemicals and preservatives.
If keeping healthy is one of your New Year’s resolutions, don’t ignore your face. Include natural doable olive oil ways to keep your face healthy this year.

  1.    Olive Oil for Removing make up

Taking off makeup is less fun than putting it on. If you don’t remove all the foundation, mascara, and eyeliner, it’ll clog up your skin causing smudges around your eyes.

Olive oil, similar in structure to the oils used in makeup, removes all makeup without damaging the skin. And, it will even get rid of waterproof mascara.

Simply dab a little olive oil on a cotton ball and apply over your face and eyes. Rub gently until all the makeup is removed. Rinse with lukewarm water to remove any residue.

     2.    Olive Oil for Shadows and Dark Rings

We sometimes refer to these as bags under the eyes; stress, hereditary factors, and lack of sleep can cause these dark circles under your eyes. You’ll come across home remedies such as cucumber and tea bags, but did you know you can use a mixture of olive oil and lemon as well?

Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the juice of half a lemon. Using a cotton ball, apply on the eyes; press lightly on the dark circles for about five minutes, then rinse. Lemon is known for its skin- lightening properties, while olive oil hydrates the skin.

     3.     Face mask

We know how important it is to cleanse the face every evening; we do it to remove all the grime and dirt from the day as well as makeup. Every so often, though, we need to go deeper to pull out those impurities lurking beneath the top layer of the skin.

Using a face mask once a week will do this. It will also unclog our pores and get rid of any pimples caused by bacteria. This healthy, nutritious homemade mask does not take long to prepare; your skin will feel rejuvenated after the treatment. And you get to relax for fifteen minutes while it does its magic.

Mash half an avocado with some olive oil and make into a paste. Smooth it onto your face and leave for about fifteen minutes or so, then rinse.
     4.     Natural Exfoliant

Our body naturally gets rid of dead skin, but sometimes it hangs on too long, giving us a dull, tired-looking complexion. Exfoliating removes dull, tired, dead cells and rejuvenates the skin. Use this natural scrub twice a week to help keep your complexion clear and healthy.

Make a paste with 2 teaspoons of sea salt and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
With the tips of your fingers, rub the mixture on your face, neck, and body using circular movements paying special attention to the T zone area of your face

What you must remember though that if you want the best results then use the best olive oil.  Scrutinize the label and make sure you’re buying extra virgin olive oil, the best guarantee that you are getting the real thing.

Want more tips and tricks?

Check out Chapter 3 of 7 Wonders of Olive Oil.

Photos: Pixabay

Monday, December 17, 2018

Why 25 International Olive Oil Specialists Reunited in Cordoba Spain

Beauty, they say starts from the inside. It’s the same for olive trees.

If producers want delicious, tasty olives and olive oil, healthy products that will satisfy their most demanding customers they need to tend to their trees in the best possible way. That’s why the 25 spots open to olive and olive oil professionals attracted experts from all over the globe. They wanted to further their knowledge on olive cultivation in Spain, the world’s leading producer of table olives and olive oil by following a course offered by IFAPA, the Andalusian Institutefor Research and Training in Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and EcologicalProductionInstituto de investigación y formación agraría y Pesquera )

The intense four-week advanced course attracted international olive experts from various countries such as Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Italy France, and Spain, all wanting to glean more knowledge on olive cultivation.

International olive and olive oil professionals at IFAPA training session --  December 2018

French olive oil expert and co-author of 7 Wonders of Olive Oil, Cécile Le Galliard met all the requirements stipulated by IFAPA.  Cécile was enthusiastic about the Advanced Course of Specialization in Olive culture she followed.

Here’s what the olive oil consultant said:

Besides the diverse theoretical and practical course material and the five field visits, the course allowed us to exchange information with professionals with varying job functions within the olive oil industry. Sharing information with 40 different professors was equally motivating – this exchange of experience and knowledge will provide us with a good working base for further development.”

Course Content and Program 

The 150-hour course conducted in Spanish included the following topics:

  •         The Olive tree as a plant. Its annual cycle and olive growing in different countries
  •         Botany and morphology (Flowering, fruiting, and ripening)
  •          Genetic improvement programs and obtaining new varieties
  •          Methods of propagation and certification of the plant
  •         The culture medium. Climate, ground.
  •          Design of the plantation and its execution
  •          Techniques and types of pruning.
  •          Systems of soil management

The training sessions set up by IFAPA is good news for everyone: beneficial, not only for professionals but also for consumers seeking more information into tractability and questioning the quality of their olive oil products.