Olives are a key component of the human diet, culinary culture, and economy of the Mediterranean region. Archeological findings and written testimony shows that olive oil was used extensively for consumption, lighting, worship, hygiene, and cosmetic purposes in ancient times. However, the date when olives began to be eaten has remained a mystery. Until now.
The olive branch as a symbol of peace is rooted in ancient Greek culture, but the link between the fruit tree and conflict resolution continues today; especially clear in a beautiful little project called Olive Oil without Borders (OOWB) just re-launched in its second edition at a conference held last month in Kufr Rai, in the West Bank.
Artisinal olive oil. It has an attractive ring, but think what “artisinal” means. You associate it with ancient traditions that living people continue to maintain – with the material products of those traditions.
The food industry is anything but shaky around the world these days, from meat glue to horse meat in “beef” burgers. Who are we to trust? The latest scandal is fake olive found in Israel, including organic varieties. Watch out for it anywhere. We sum up where to buy, and what to avoid. Some are […]
A new research paper traces the roots of the wild olive to one location. Olives, staple of Mediterranean cuisine, have dubious origins. Called the “tree of life” for the sustenance it provides and its myriad non-food uses (read our list of 10 weird and wonderful ways to use olive oil), the domesticated olive tree is central […]
Humans have been plucking the fruit off olive trees for over 10,000 years, so it’s no surprise we’ve found creative ways to use olives and their oils. They’re native to the Mediterranean-basin, and probably first domesticated in Crete, but who first hatched the recipe for extracting olives’ oils remains an mystery. We know the stuff is tasty, and […]
Sisters or the the Olive trees of Noah, are the 16 oldest olive trees in the world found in the community of Bechealeh, Lebanon. Some 6,000 years old, folklorists say these have Biblical origins.
A back-to-the-land movement is blossoming in the Palestinian Authority, the United Nation’s newest nonmember observer state. “The Palestinian future is in the land.” Farmer Khader Khader said, standing in his organic olive grove in the northern West Bank village of Nus Jubail. Many Palestinian farmers are switching to organic farming methods, and selling their oil to […]
An Israeli company makes a mini-sewage plant to help small wineries, olive oil and cheese-makers deal with the pollutants from their industries. Waste from small olive presses, cheese factories and wineries is not good for the water or soil. Organic farming and the 100-Mile Diet have influenced new college graduates to establish farms instead of seeking […]
Middle Eastern olive oil producers are baring the brunt of falling oil prices Olive oil prices have hit a 10 year low, severely impacting producers in Spain, Italy , Greece and Protugal- which produce more than 60 percent of the world’s olive oil. However, Middle Eastern Farmers in Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Israel and Palestine will […]
Can there be ways to protect olive oil prices and the sustainable ways of olive farming in the Middle East? The price for olive oil has dropped to its lowest level in a decade and farmers in the Middle East are bearing the brunt as Spain and Italy dump their government-subsidized stocks at below cost. […]
Smooth and heavy – a guide to choosing the best raw olives for pickling at home. There’s nothing like the sensation of running your fingers through a heap of smooth, heavy, fresh olives. And now is the season. Open markets of the Middle East display stands heaped with the green and purple fruit, perfect for […]
During the Sukkot holiday, visitors will be able to learn how to make olive oil, sweet wine, bread and cheeses the old fashioned way. Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival, is a time when Jews attempt to get closer to nature. They live in make-shift huts covered with thatched roofs, sleep outdoors, and celebrate fruits of […]
The Golden Sheep makes Palestinians proud with gourmet Italian cheese. The Arab Geographer al-Muqaddasi wrote between the 9th and 11th centuries that while Palestine has olives, dried figs, raisins and the Carob fruit, Jerusalem has cheeses, Aninuni and Duri raisins, apples, and pine nuts. More recently, an influx of foreigners – including Italians – broadened […]