OLIVE TREE Information about Olives and Olive Oil.

Dear Friends:

I would like to reveal some important information about Olives and Olive Oil.

Naturally, there are facts recorded about the Olive tree everywhere, even in the Bible.

We all know (at least I hope you do) the story of Noah, the flood and the dove returning with an olive branch in its mouth.
Additionally, from the beginning of time the word Olive has been synonymous with Greece, the Mediterranean region, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Israel, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Northern Africa, etc.

It is prevalent in Greek Mythology. The goddess, Athena, gave the Olive tree to Greece as a gift.
A wreath made from the olive branch was worn by brides and used as a symbol of victory for Olympic winners.

Many of us remember the olive branch with fear because, as children in the old days, we mentally visualize teachers using the thin, long, olive branch as a whip.
(I recall this well, since I was not an angel during my childhood.)
Of course, this method of punishment was used some years ago.
However, today neither parents nor teacher are permitted to physically punish children.
Things have changed so drastically that in the near future it has been rumoured that kids will do the whipping.

By now you should be aware that this booklet will be in a comedy format.
Life is tough as it is, and I have come to realize that no one is interested in reading serious books any more.

Today, consumers are only interested in whether Olive Oil is better cold pressed or hot pressed, or should it be dark green or light green in colour.
They may ask a friend who does not know, or a store manager who has no idea either, but tries to give an intelligent answer based on what he heard from someone.
Maybe it is correct or maybe it is not.
On the other hand, your brand of choice for quite some time may suddenly have a recall from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

Many people believe that Olive Oil is good for their health and people who use it live for "umpteen" years, (over 100) because they heard that Joe Vilero from Italy lived to be 107 years old and claimed that his use of Olive Oil every day was a major factor in prolonging his life.
Or, that Maria Kudakakis from the Greek mountains lived to 103 years old on a steady diet of Olive Oil.
Of course, she was able to live to that age. Who wouldn?t, living on top of the mountain, with fresh air, real spring water, pure mountain goat?s milk, honey and fresh garden food!
Not even a whiff of propane or gasoline fumes.

Who would not want to go there, away from the city traffic, insurance claims, taxes, with no thoughts about words like recession, inflation, unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, garbage strikes, blah, blah, blah. Whooaw!

However, with the recall of your favourite brand, you realize that you will not live to 107 like Joe Vilero. Suddenly you begin to believe that you will live 10 years less because for the last 10 years you have been using a defective brand.
You may have also heard that some doctor somewhere mentioned that Olive Oil increased the man's ability because George Papadokilakos had 11 children and he claimed that he drinks a small capful of Olive Oil every night before he goes to bed.

If you were to ask a Greek, Italian, Spanish, Syrian or Jordanian individual, they each have a relative back home that is producing homemade Olive Oil on a small scale and insists that their Olive Oil is the best.
Upon requesting a bottle from them, they will tell you that they only received a bottle or two which is for their own personal use.

There are even companies claiming that their Olive Oil received the CHOGLANI Award for bottle presentation design.
(A word of caution: choglani is a bad word in Greek and we do not suggest you use it on a daily basis, unless absolutely necessary.)
Others claim that their company was recognized in 1974 for having at least one perfect olive tree on the farm.
There are many claims to having received ridiculous awards presented imprinted on labels with no connection whatsoever to the quality of the oil within the bottle or can.

Olive Oil is a huge business and it has always been, and will continue to be the subject of quick money makers who invent a brand which sound olive oilero, olivanturo, oliva or, olivato, etc., hoping that there would always be someone out there willing to pay for a bottle of questionable oil (who knows what kind) and attest to the claims on the bottle.

So how could you really determine what is really good Olive Oil?
Or, who is going to point me in the right direction where I can purchase with confidence?

It is a known fact that Olive Oil is the oldest of all the oil species.

Let us do the educational program on this subject.

Olive trees are prevalent in the Mediterranean areas some of these trees are over a thousand years old. In certain areas, they are archaeologically protected, and are said to be over two thousand years old.

There are many varieties of Olive trees, each producing a different species.
However, for the production of oil, the requirements are the small, green fruit.

And no part of the fruit goes to waste.

So, if you think that on your visit to the Mediterranean, or the Greek Islands, that after you have had a swim in the beautiful, clear, crystal waters, you simply climb the tree, pick an olive, bite it and eat it, you are in for a big surprise.
It is bitter as the mauby bark from Trinidad, the Karela (bitter melon) and/or the lupini.
And once you spit it out, you will continue to spit for at least forty-seven minutes and twenty-seven seconds. And that bitterness will be locked in your memory for years to come!

So the question is, how can a bitter fruit like this be able to have so many positives:
long live, virility, smooth complexion, bowel regularity, moisturizing hair miracles, laundry usages, etc., etc.

I have conversed with many producers of Olive Oil from all Mediterranean areas through my many years in business, more than forty to be exact.
And, in addition to having eaten olives and bread as a kid, I have had the opportunity to compile information from experts in the production of several sectors of this category and to digest this information in such a way that I am able to reveal with accuracy, this knowledge to enable you to make an informed decision about purchasing olives and olive oil.

My general idea is that the first ingredient you need in the production of Olive oil is LOVE.

That means the olive oil producer has to have knowledge of his responsibilities and obligations, which is an enormous task, not only to himself, but also to the consumer.

Another factor is that olive trees should not be planted on flat land because they do not need constant watering.
Elevation should be above sea level, approximately 150 metres at a slightly sloping grade so that the water does not stay on the roots, even rainwater.

The word love plays a very important role.
Let me explain why.

You can pick up olives already on the ground that has been soaked in the water, dirt, and mud and produce Olive Oil out of that. Or, you go up into the tree like a reasonable and responsible person, collect the olives, and LOVINGLY create Olive Oil.

This seems simple enough, but it is not. The olive has to be collected individually, ensuring that they are separated into batches, suitable either for eating, or producing Olive oil.

The variety that is designated for oil production is transported to large holding tanks where they are washed, crushed, and transferred into machines which will then extract the oil out of them.
Thousands of tons of olives collected in holding tanks are then transferred to batches into the oil extraction machinery and with the aid of today?s technology, powerful spinners and centrifugal force moves the fruit from the center unto the edges.
The extracted liquid penetrates the holes and flows into holding tanks underneath, a process which extracts approximately 20 per cent of the weight.

I will tell what happens to the 80 per cent later.

However, we will stay on the subject.

This oil is then transported into the holding tanks and now, you may start packing olive oil.

At this point, we need a little help from Mother Nature.

We have to slow down for a moment. After a few spins on a merry-go-round, we all feel very dizzy. Well this is exactly what happens to the oil.

At this stage it needs peace and quiet to take it?s own sweet time, maybe a month or two for all the little bubbles, sediment, foreign objects, dust, etc. to settle down.

During this time, you may play a nice soft violin like Livia (Bio, Page 171), or I can play my harmonica softly.
Hard rock or rap is not suggested.

When all the settling is completed and the sediment removed, then peacefully without pistons, compressors or high speed technology filling equipment, and with a natural gravity flow, the oil seeps into slightly tinted coloured bottles.
Olive Oil does not need sunlight or florescent lighting.
However, when packed in cans, the texture, taste and aroma will be protected for a longer period of time.
Olive Oil does not have an expiry date if protected under these conditions.

When everything runs smoothly from harvesting, processing and packaging the result will be a very good oil.

The following are the categories: Extra-virgin olive oil contains no more than 0.8% acidity.
Virgin olive oil has acidity less than 2%. Pure olive oil is a blend of refined and virgin olive oil.

In conclusion of the whole story which I have just mentioned before, the ideal and safest way to select a good quality of Extra Virgin Olive oil is to examine the label on the main paneling
which should state: Acidity 0.1% to 0.8% or the acidity to reflect the category of the oil.
Of course, the acidity could vary from batch to batch. However, as long as the levels are within the range of 0.1% to 0.8% it is considered to be a very good Oil.

Any responsible company that has no fear about the quality of their brand of oil should have the acidity percentage listed.
From time to time, you will see a great deal on Olive oil at your local supermarket.

I suggest you pick up that bottle or can and examine it carefully. You may notice it says, packed in Italy.
What does this signify? Did the olives come from the trees of that country?
Was the oil extracted from the olive fruit of that country?
Or was the olive oil simply imported from another country and packed in that country?

The most accurate measure of an Olive oil is one that bears a declaration on where the olive is grown, where produced and not so important, where it was packed.

Therefore, an accurate label should read, grown, produced and packed in Italy, for example.
This at least tells you that the declaration is correct.
Should it only state, packed in Spain, or any other country, without any other information, that oil is suspicious. I would like to assure you that this booklet is not a selling technique
to persuade you to purchase Mr. Goudas Olive Oil.

I am simply stating the facts to assist you in making an informed decision.

I am a firm believer that if you are satisfied with the brand of your choice, you should not change it, just because you see an advertised special offering Olive oil at a huge discount.

With respect to the taste, it is quite common to have a slightly different taste depending on the area of production and country of origin.
Only experts in the taste, like wine connoisseurs, are able to determine the above with accuracy.

Olive oil is suitable for frying due to the fact that it handle high temperatures.
I is wonderful also for salads, casseroles and baking.

I would like to close this subject here, because should I continue, there are so many details I would like to incorporate that you will need a separate section in your library to file this title.
It is an endless subject.

So now, let us see what can go wrong from here to there if the first ingredient is not LOVE.

Picking any olives, either soft or rotten, from the tree, collecting those on the ground that have been soaking in water and mud, transporting in unsanitary trucks, placing in a holding tank not protected from anything such as rats, frogs, grasshoppers, etc., etc.

Does this sound freaky to you? Yes, this can happen. There are unscrupulous people everywhere.
Using a heat process within the centrifugal force machinery and trying to extract more than 20 per cent, or, even mixing the batches with other nuts, and after extraction, packaging too soon without the settlement process being complete.

Now you do not need to be Einstein to figure out which is better, cold or hot pressed.
In addition, you do not have to wait for the store manager to tell you his opinion.

His business should be to stock a variety of Olive Oil brands and allow you the freedom to choose your brand of choice, and not just to promote the brand that is making the most profit.

I mentioned before that there is sediment or residue in the tank that has to be removed.

Well after this has been collected, certain qualified companies convert this residue into a wonderful bar soap which is usually green in colour. An aroma is added to enhance the bar.
This particular type of soap has been in circulation for years and those who are privileged to use it are so confident with its cleaning power and ability that they will not settle for any another commercialized chemical detergent soap.

I would like to remind you I have only given you 20 per cent of the story so far.

It is time for another little break. Dip a few slices of bread in a plate of Olive Oil, add a few sprinkles of Oregano, if you like the taste, and be prepared to mentally travel to the Greek mountains, and start getting prepared to live a few years longer, like Joe Vilero and Maria Kudakakis.

Please do not tell this to the government officials because they will increase the retirement age from 65 to 85. (Please smile!)

Now that the 20% of the batch has been extracted for oil, the sediment is separated into two ways:
seeds and animal feed.

The animal feed is compressed by machines into a chocolate bar format.
And with beautiful labelling, the cows can moo their way to the grocery store, select and chomp on their brand of choice. These are vegetarian cows.

The rest of the sediment is the seed.
The seed of the olives is a very big business due to the fact that every olive has one seed.

The reason I am telling you this is, that after so many years in business, I have come to realize that some people believe that the stuffed Manzanilla Olives are naturally seedless.

So now we have tons of seeds. What becomes of them?

Many moons ago, people tried to sell the seeds by the pound and I believe the potential buyer questioned what the hell am I going to do with all these seeds.

Eventually, someone found the answer to the seed question and created a product called Pirina.

Apparently, upon checking the internet to find out where the name came from, with no success, I came to the conclusion that maybe it is the name of the man who invented the product.
Does this make any sense? Of course it does! Mr. Pirina! Maybe he was a Spanish guy because somewhere I read about Senor Pirina.

Senor Pirina invented Pirina and I discovered at a very young age (approximately 2 years of age, Bio, page 8) what Pirina was all about when I stepped on it and severely burned the bottom of my feet.
In a few words, it is the powder formed from the crushed seed and is used for heating.
It creates enormous heat without flame.

It has commonly been used within those areas as a source of energy to create heating for machinery, pistons, steam generators, etc. where the olive tree production is cultivated due to the fact that at these locations it is an efficient energy source similar to the by-product ?bagasse? created from the sugar cane husk in Brazil, Colombia and the Caribbean.
(Details are in the booklet, Experiencing Colombia, As seen through the eyes of Spyros Peter Goudas.)
The substance remaining from the initial pressings, and in parallel with the production of pirina (with the addition of solvents and more processing and modern technology), another product is produced and classified as Olive-pomace oil.

You may never have heard these words before, but now that you have read it here, you will notice it everywhere.

So let me give you a brief summary of the category.

These classifications are suitable for human consumption but may not be described simply as olive oil, but as Olive-pomace oil, which is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.

Olive-pomace oil is refined production oil possibly blended with some extra virgin oil.

Olive pomace oil has no characteristic, no olive oil taste and is odourless.

Most vegetable oils that we use for ordinary cooking purposes (corn oil, soya, sunflower, canola, cottonseed, etc.) are extracted using industrial solvents.

We do not often question the processes for any of them, but when it comes to olive pomace oil, there is a concern about the use of such processes which is basically the same thing.

Another product produced from the olive is lampante oil.
It is not suitable as food or in any food preparation process.

It is strictly for use in oil-burning lamps only.

I believe I have covered all the possible processes from the olive fruit.

As I was going through the internet, and specifically in Wikipedia, the sentence below captured my attention:

Olive oil has more uses than just consuming it also works as a natural and safe lubricant.
For example, lubricating the machinery that is used within the kitchen (grinders, blenders, cookware, etc.)
This was very much of a surprise to me, due to my background as an Aircraft Engineer (Bio, page 15) and through my experience in all my machinery, packaging and production facilities,
I would never recommend to anyone the use of Olive oil for lubrication of any motors,grinders, blenders, or whatever.

When I was a Chief Engineer in the Greek air force, I would not have recommended anyone to use olive oil as a lubricant for aircraft parts because the plane would end up somewhere in the highlands of Timbuktu or in Malaguya (The Lima Bean Booklet).
Only lubricants specifically designed for lubricating motors should be used on machinery.
I strongly suggest that Wikipedia remove this statement.

Now is the right time to have another break because the next subject will be olives.

I will not tell you within your break to simply open a jar of olives and try some of them because it will be difficult, or maybe impossible.

Let me tell you a little story.
I am going as far back as 1978 at which time I hired an accountant for our firm. He happened to be Chinese. During our lunch breaks, we all sat in the cafeteria and had lunch together.

Being Greek, I always had olives in my lunch bag, either one kind or another.
Each day I would offer the accountant some olives.

For years and years, he always politely refused.
However, one day, five years later, he apparently made a life changing decision.
With trembling hands, he finally touched one olive.
It took quite a few minutes for him to lift his shaking hand from the plate to his mouth, and then, similar to a slow motion movie, or a scene from the Twilight Zone, it finally touched his mouth.
Envision me awaiting the results!
He placed the olive in his mouth, moved it from left to right, then, right to left and back again, until, he finally took his first bite.
All the while, I am waiting, almost not breathing for an opinion.

Well, that was then. Now, thirty years later, my jar of olives always seems to be empty.

Of course, this seems like a comedy.

However, it has taught me a very valuable lesson, it will take a long time to persuade a person of a different nationality who has never seen or tried an olive before to plunge headfirst
and go for it.

Since I had so many other projects on the go regarding production and creation of different ethnic foods, I left the olive idea on the back burner until one day I was invited to an association dinner to present the academic Goudas awards to the best student.

There were more than five hundred people in attendance at a sit down dinner, where olives were part of the menu.

Finally, when the time came to go up on stage, present the Goudas awards and say a few words with cameras flashing and a film crew recording the event for the news.
All I thought about at the time were the olives, and I promised the audience, there and then that in the near future I would bring into this country the best olives available.
I had more applause about the olives than the award presentation.
When I returned to the office, I asked my salespeople to purchase olives of every race, creed, brand and size, stuffed, unstuffed, including dyed olives from Peru, and bring them to the office.

I knew I had a task ahead of me.

Obviously, the information and knowledge I acquired through speaking to olive producers from the Mediterranean countries are so detailed that I could produce an encyclopaedia.
Teaching different nationalities about eating olives was not even in my frame of reference at that time. My main focus was to bring the BEST OLIVE OF EACH VARIETY and absolutely satisfy the people who knew about olives.

Nevertheless, the task to find the right and responsible people was not easy.

Part of the difficulty in the process is the fact that olives have to be DE-BITTERIZED, and that process takes four to five months by using fresh water with salt which has to be changed every week.
Without using AMMONIA for quick de-bitterization, which will give the olives a funny taste after biting.
Additionally, each variety has to be separated and sorted by size.
There are many different sizes and sizes in between the sizes.

In general, the sizes are brilliant, superior, large, extra large, jumbo, giant, and colossus.

Olives also have to be separated by colour: green and black, and several colours in between.
Those used in restaurants are either the superior or the large, usually the Kalamata type.
There has been a tendency for olives to get softer as the time goes by.
Last year?s crop is softer than this year?s.

The test is to find the right packer with the proper sterilization equipment with the same procedure as the responsible olive oil producer who does not mix good and bad for the purpose of meeting weight requirements just to capture a cheap price.
The olive selection through the belt rotation moving packaging line, will allow an expert eye to determine and remove the potential soft, discoloured olives.

However, my requirements are a few additional pairs of trained eyes to ensure that my olives really are the best available.

Those few extra eyes are the ones which select the olives that should not be in my container.
In a few words, they are paid for the weight of the rejected olives.
This ensures that filling Mr. Goudas olive barrel just for the weight is minimized.

With all my requirements and specifications in place, I have selected seven varieties which are the following: green sliced, green cocktail, green jumbo, green crack, jumbo kalamata, colossus, and manzanilla.

These olives are available in the 1,500 ml see-through jar so that the consumer is able to view the contents.

Shipments of these varieties have already arrived in the Canadian market and the stores that are carrying them have the privilege of hearing the consumer?s satisfactory comments.

Within my writing, I have mentioned the word, Kalamata. This refers to a particular variety of olives which grow only in the provinces of Messinia and Lakonia, in the southern part of Greece .

Sparta is a town within this area, and those of you who love history, you may recall the story of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans!

There is another variety of olives called Thruba.
It is black in colour, has a rough skin and a soft mushy texture.
Another common name for this olive is the Moroccan.
They appear to be ugly looking, however, to people familiar with them, they are the ultimate olive.

On hearing the above, one of my associates contested this statement and added that the ultimate olive is the one floating in a dry martini!

This is a common method of serving the Martini in the Western world.
He then stated, how do they serve martinis in Thailand, Sri Lanka and other areas that have no knowledge of the olive?
To them it may seem like a foreign object floating in the glass.
I responded, that since I spent 40 years in this multicultural business,
I have a solution to this dilemma.

With my vast knowledge, I suggest placing a Rambutan stuffed with pineapple in the martini! Now you will ask me, What is a Rambutan, just like the man from Sri Lanka would ask, What is an olive?

Oh, oh! You should have only paid $45 for this booklet and the incredible information within.
However, I am adding another $5 for the information I will now reveal to you.

Just like Mr. Pirina developed the pirina, I had a meeting approximately 20 years ago with one of my associates from Bangkok, Thailand and somehow during our discussion he mentioned that he knew an area that had so much Rambutan, that they did not know what to do with it.

And in the same breath he mentioned that Thailand had one of the sweetest pineapple in the world.

Somehow, I thought out loud, why not place a piece of the sweetest pineapple in the world inside of the Rambutan.

I have incorporated photos to illustrate the product (PICTURES IN THE OLIVE TREE BOOKLET).
And, five years later, after many experiments, sterilization, pasteurization, etc., we can now place a Rambutan with pineapple in a martini.

So two hundred years from now, I will still be looking down to see Mr. Rambutan and Mr. Olive racing to the finishing line to determine who will jump into the martini!

I mentioned before that Olive oil has multiple uses.

Being surrounded by an office full of ladies of various ethnic backgrounds,
I was advised by one of them from the far east, that in her homeland olive oil is mostly used as a hair and skin moisturizer, and to preserve hair colour, as opposed to cooking.

Another benefit of Olive Oil is by mixing with honey in to a smooth paste and apply it directly on the skin or face.

Then cover it with silk or wax paper and put a heated pad on top of it and leave it for 15 minutes.

The silk or wax paper works as a membrane that sucks up anything under the skin and increases circulation.

Once the heated pad and the paper are removed the skin absorbs the oil and honey into the pores of the skin as the skin can breathe again.

The Bacteria that lives inside our body or under the skin get absorbed by the honey and acts as an agent to eliminate the toxins from our body.

When the mixture leaves our body the bacteria leaves with it. A beautiful smooth clean face or skin is the result of the treatment.

The above article is published by the famous Jose Garbe-Vilijn, in her book by the title PIDDDS 3-D LIVING 3-D Dimensional Approach to Healthy Living.

She also mentioned that this can be applied to any type of skin.

I would like to mention to you that the photo on the back was taken in 1955, when I was 13 years old.
I am under the umbrella, and directly underneath me, is my mother, from Smyrna, Asia Minor.

The first lady on the left front is my aunt. She lived to age 98. Sitting next to her is my grandmother, who lived to age 106.
Should you take a very close look at the lunch table, even with a magnifying glass, you will note the only items on the table are bread and olives.

So the question is, do I know anything about olives or not?

I have exhausted all the pages that were allowed to create this informative booklet.

Hopefully, you have gained some insight info of this versatile Olive Tree.

Should you check our website, there is a Recipe Section which includes a variety of recipes, including the Rice Pudding Story.

My recipes are relatively simple and can add an exotic flair to your daily routine.

Over the years, my passion for my work has inspired me to write approximately 35 books.
Some reflect recipes, others offer educational information .
I will be very pleased if you read any of my books found in any location that they are available.

My main objective is to relay information about what it takes to create high quality products from around the world for anyone and everyone to enjoy!

I hope you had as much fun reading this booklet as I had creating it.

I sincerely believe that I have provided you with valuable information for years to come.

Spyros Peter Goudas

For anyone who would like to have an idea how The Olive Tree book was created, read the article by Bernadette Scott.  It is a fascinating story outlining the effort, imagination and the documentation of one of the most complex subjects.

The above article has been published as a book and you may view all the varietes of pictures associated with the subject, including a photo of a Rambutan with a Pineapple. 

Keywords: | FRUITS |