Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Note on olive oils and a new direction for California Olive Ranch

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The olive oil industry is rife with corruption, with many “olive” oils being in fact other oils, perhaps with a little olive oil blended in, and many “extra-virgin” olive oils not actually being of that grade.

The book Extra-Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, by Tom Mueller, is an entertaining and informative look at the fraud and theft that seems common to the global trade in extra-virgin olive oil. (Link is to inexpensive secondhand copies; the book is also available in Kindle format.)

This post also discusses the fraud, but lists some reliable brands to buy—brands so far untouched by fraud and sharp practice.

However, in that list you will find an olive oil that I have used and enjoyed:

California Olive Ranch – Award winning olive oil brand. It is in a tinted glass bottle protects oil and is 100% grown and made in California. 

Things change, and not always for the better: Olive Oil Times notes that California Olive Ranch will be buying, packaging as “California Olive Ranch,” and selling non-California olive oils. Curtis Cord writes:

Maybe the New World isn’t so new after all.

Since, oh, the beginning of time, any olive oil that ever-so-briefly may have brushed the blessed shores of Italy were emblazoned with the mythical Made in Italy distinction and set forth unto the world to command much higher prices than oils that admitted where they were really from.

The public’s demand for transparency and authentic products and efforts by ethical producers led to national campaigns that sought to restore the “Made in Italy” brand and reserve its exclusive use for oils that were, well, made in Italy.

In fact, it was the public shaming of those old shenanigans and other unseemly practices that helped give rise to the value of homegrown oils from places like Australia, South Africa, Argentina and California.

Now, in a move straight out of the old Italian playbook, the largest American olive oil producer has announced a new “Crafted in California” range of imported oil blends.

California Olive Ranch (COR) explains on its website:

It’s no secret that farming is a difficult business and growing olives is not without its challenges. This year, we, along with farmers of all kinds of crops throughout California, were hit with a freeze during our bloom season. This drastically reduced the size of our crop, compromising our ability to make good on our promise of providing Americans with high-quality extra virgin olive oil at a reasonable price.

In other words, California’s leading olive oil company can’t feed its thriving sales channels with a limited supply of California fruit that’s commanding ever-higher prices.

The reality of the matter, of course, is that American consumers who have been led by campaigns fueled by COR and others to devalue imported oils will not take the time to check the origins of the new “Destinations” range.

The front label points out that the product is “Grown Globally, Crafted in California” which is reminiscent of the “Designed by Apple in California” that billions of us have seen on the devices in our hands (COR’s CEO, Gregg Kelley, is a silicon-valley veteran). The company predictably omits “imported” — the buzzword of the public-relations bashing COR helped finance. . .

Continue reading.

Olive Oil Times seems like a good thing to read, and subscriptions are free. Take a look, for example, at this article: “Greeks Moving Away from Med Diet, Survey Finds.”

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2018 at 6:55 am

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