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Olive oil disaster in 2014

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Nov 12th, 2014, 04:45 AM
  #1
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Olive oil disaster in 2014

2014 is viewed as the worst year ever for olive oil production in Italy. For what is produced the quality is expected to be very poor. For Central Tuscany the year is even worse than the disastrous 1986 when a prolonged period of sub-zero temperatures severely damaged most olive trees.

The reasons for this are two-fold - poor weather throughout the year and particularly at crucial periods as well as widespread infection by the olive fruit fly (mosca olearia).

On top of this a heatwave in Spain has resulted in their production being roughly 40% less than normal levels. Prices have soared at the exchange in Leon whereas in Italy prices at the exchange in Bari, for example, are already up 38%.

Apart from this year's production being down (as much as 80% in many areas) many are warning that oil sold as "Made in Italy" will this year include a greater proportion of inferior oil from Northern Africa and elsewhere. Read the label carefully.

Perhaps this year one should give Italian oil a miss and rush out and buy what is still available of last year's oil (here I am talking about quality oil rather than Filippo Berio type oil). Although I normally buy the new oil each year now may be an exception.

Suggestions -
1. Buy last year'squality oil which you are sure has been stored in a cool and dark place.
2. Consider buying 5 liter cans of good extra virgin oil and decant into bottles as and when needed.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 04:48 AM
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Thanks very much for this info. Maybe a visit to the Greek stores will be in order for this year. (?)
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Nov 12th, 2014, 05:02 AM
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Or buy Californian?

If Italy produced all the oil which claims to be Italian the whole country, and then some would need to be olive grove.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 05:40 AM
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I don't have news about Greece this year. Anyone?

Total Italy production - unfortunately the olive oil market in Europe is dominate by the multinationals - Uniliver, Nestlé and others - who have great power in Brussels (i.e. the European Union).

This is the reason why you need to read the label carefully. What appears as Italian oil can be made substantially of "olive comunitarie" - in other words a mix of oil from different parts of Europe (especially Spain being the largest producer). The oil is "Made" principally around Lucca and is "passed off" (an English legal term - I do not know if this is understood in America) as Italian as it can be sold at a higher price.

Italy for years has tried to strengthen the interpretation of "Made in Italy" but it is a long and difficult battle. The only certainty is to buy oil with either the DOP or IGP label unless you have personally visited the producer.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 05:51 AM
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I guess it's a good thing I get mine from Spain.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 05:55 AM
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As in, I already got mine...
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Nov 12th, 2014, 06:48 AM
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I prefer Spanish anyway
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Nov 12th, 2014, 07:00 AM
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So do I
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Nov 12th, 2014, 07:11 AM
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chacun à son goût
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Nov 12th, 2014, 07:13 AM
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http://www.economist.com/news/busine...pressing-issue

From earlier this year.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 07:26 AM
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IMDonehere

quite right

the olive oil business is a very murky business just like newly pressed oil
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Nov 12th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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The same thing here in Provence. We helped our friends pick last week. Last year they harvest 200+ kilos of olives. They sold property with half their trees but even so - we picked 11 kilos. And even those olives were not so hot. I don't want to tell you why...as they press them regardless, but let's just say of you were vegetarians you wouldn't want this oil.

BUY NOW prices are sure to sky rocket.

Good news is we had great exchange rate today $100 = 124.4€
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Nov 12th, 2014, 07:38 AM
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Opps. 100€. = $124.42
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Nov 12th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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" I don't want to tell you why...as they press them regardless, but let's just say of you were vegetarians you wouldn't want this oil. "

Hi DebitNM, as a vegetarian who regularly buys EVOO, will you please tell me what this means?
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Nov 12th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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You won't like it... There were tiny worms in the olives. They press them, anyway. I didn't ask at the moulin what they did about the worms...
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Nov 12th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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The worms are probably from the olive fruit fly.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 10:30 AM
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The worms are bonus protein.

You don't want to know what's in your peanut butter.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 10:30 AM
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Mmmmmm. Worm juice.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 10:30 AM
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For anyone in the NYC area, International Foods on n 9th Ave, near Port Authority, sells excellent Cretan olive oil. Maybe it's time to stock up.
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Nov 12th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Good thing my FIL winters in Spain and always brings back loads of olive oil for us.
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