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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Spain & Portugal / July's Tag Game ~ Aceitunas ~ Olives
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    July's Tag Game ~ Aceitunas ~ Olives

    Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next Page >>
    Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:58 am
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    Olives are one of the most extensively cultivated fruit crops in the world, and are believed to have first been cultivated more than 7000 years ago. The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean region and Western Asia, and eventually spread to nearby countries. Olive trees are now grown in many regions of the world with Mediterranean climates, including South America, Israel, California, and New Zealand. Spain leads the world as the top producer of olives, producing more than 6,204,000 tons of olives pear year. That is approximately 45% of the world’s olive crop, and the olives produced in Spain are rated among the very best in the world.

    Olives change color from yellow to green to purple to black as they ripe, so the color of the olive can indicate the degree of ripeness. And for most olive varieties, an olive’s bitterness is reduced as the olive is allowed to further ripen.

    Culinary Uses

    Olives are a particularly integral in the daily cooking needs of Mediterranean cuisine, including of course Spanish cuisine. They are used for a variety of culinary dishes, including a wide array of different tapas (appetizers), sauces, salads, and entrees.

    Certain varieties of Spanish olives are used solely or primarily for oil. Olive oils are graded by standards set forth by the IOOC. The highest ranking among them is Extra-Virgin olive oil, which has a superior taste and contains no more than 0.8% acidity.

    Olive Varieties

    There are thousands of varieties of olives used in various cuisines. Listed below are some of the most common olives used in Spanish cooking and a brief summary of their individual characteristics:

    ~ Arauco olive - These are large green Spanish olives flavored with rosemary, often served with other tapas. (Manzanilla olives are a good substitute.)

    ~ Arbequina olive - These are very small light green to green-brown Spanish olives with a mild, nutty flavor that are grown in Catalonia, Spain. They're good in pasta and salad dishes. They’re also used to produce excellent, highly valued olive oil. They’re generally hard to find in the U.S. (Manzanilla olives are a good substitute, though they’re much larger.)

    ~ Cornicabra - Originating in Toledo, Spain, the large pale green Cornicaba olive comprises about 12% of Spain's production. They have a soft fruity or sweet flavor and make a great choice for tapas, though they are also used for oil.

    ~ empeltre olives - A dual-purpose medium-sized Spanish black olives that are soaked in sherry.

    Hojiblanca olives - originated in the province of Córdoba, Spain; its oil is widely appreciated for its slightly bitter flavor.

    manzanilla olives - Also spelled manzanillo, it’s also known as Spanish Olives. It’s a large Spanish green olive, available unpitted and/or stuffed with pimiento, jalapenos, onions, garlic, or almonds. They originated in Dos Hermanas, Seville, in the sourthern region of Spain. Known for its rich taste and thick pulp, it is a prolific bearer, grown around the world. Manzanillas means “little apples” in Spanish. They’re available in most supermarkets, and make a great garnish for martinis. (Caper berries are a good substitute.)

    Picual - A medium-sized black olive from southern Spain province of Jaén, and is the most widely cultivated olive in Spain. It has a strong but sweet flavor and can be used as a table olive, but it’s primarily used for oil In fact, the Picual olive comprises about 50% of Spain's olive production and around 20% of world’s olive production. It’s often blended with other oils to enhance the flavor. Moreover, its oil has some of the best chemical properties found in olive oil, being the richest in oleic acid and vitamin E.

    There are also olive varieties that are more common in various regions of Spain, or though perhaps less commonly used for general Spanish cooking needs. This includes Fraga olives, la Lechin olives, la Verdial olives, la Carasquena olives, and la Blanqueta olives.

    Health and Nutrition

    Considerable research supports the health benefits of including olives, olive oil, and olive leaves in ones daily diet. For instance, olives are a good source of fiber, carbohydrates, and many minerals. They also contain high levels of Vitamins B, E and K, as well as beta-carotene.

    Because of lutein, a strong antioxidant and carotenoid, studies have linked olive consumption with the protection from premature aging and improved eyesight. Olives have also been attributed with reduced risk of heart and blood vessel disorders. The high level of beta-carotene in olives is said to reduce harmful influences from certain carcinogens, regeneration of tissues, and strengthening of teeth and bones.

    General Olive Facts

    * Over the years, the olive has been the symbol of peace, wisdom, glory, fertility, power and pureness

    * The olive plant is one of the most often cited in literature

    * Leafy branches from olive trees were once used to crown victors of wars and offered to deities and powerful figures

    * There are dozens of olive trees throughout the world that are reportedly over 2000 years old

    * In addition to harvesting the olive for culinary use, the olive tree is also cultivated for its fine wood and olive leaves (particularly used for medicinal teas)

    * Using waste produced from olive plants (which can produce over 2 times the energy generated from burning wood), olives are now being looked at for use as a renewable energy source, which is already a patented process in the Middle East and the U.S.

    * Olives trees take more than twice the amount of land than do apples, bananas or mango trees, with only coconut trees and oil palms commanding more growing space

    * The amount of oil contained in the olive fruit differs greatly among each variety, typically producing 3.3 to 4.9 pounds (1.5 to 2.2kg) of oil per tree per year

    ………………………………….Tag Game ~ July

    Featured Spanish Recipes ~ Olives

    ~ Gazpacho by breezermom
    Because Gazpacho is traditionally served as a chilled soup, it is a popular choice to cool off during the hot summer months. You’ll love this version, with plenty of healthy fresh ingredients to enjoy.

    ~ Spanish Omelet by Galley Wench
    The Spanish Omelet--Tortilla Espanola—is perhaps the most commonly served dish in Spain. Cafes and bars often freature with other tapas, but it is also commonly served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. And this version is packed with all sorts of fresh vegetables including potatoes, onions, peppers and green olives.

    Spicy Spanish Chicken by Thymestudio Spicy Spanish Chicken
    So many traditional Spanish ingredients are featured in this Spanish dish. And as the posting chef suggests, serve this dish with Saffron Rice for a full complement of Spanish cuisine.

    Just Olives

    Auberge Spiced Olives With Garlic, Orange and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
    Lemon Olive Tapas
    Marinated Black Olives (Tapas)
    Marinated Green Olives (Tapas)
    Spanish Marinated Olives
    Spicy Marinated Black Olives

    Tapas and Appetizers

    Warm Manchego Cheese Popovers
    Tuna & Olive Croquettes
    Garlic Olive Oil Plate With Capers
    Spanish Olive Tapenade
    Spanish Tapas Bean Salad
    Stuffed Cherry Tomato Tapas

    Main Dishes

    Oven-Baked Spanish Chicken With Rice
    Chicken With Piquillo, Tomatoes, and Olives
    Quinoa Beef Picadillo
    Spanish Tilapia
    Pasta with Spicy Shrimp and Sun-dried Tomatoes


    Onion, Olive and Orange Salad
    Simple Spanish Green Salad
    Spanish Olive Salad
    Ensalada Mixta (Special Mixed Salad)
    Spanish Charred Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad
    Antipasto-Style White Bean Salad


    Empanadas With Ham, Cheese and Olives
    Spanish Rice
    Basque Potatoes
    Baked Spanish Rice
    Valencia Corn Salad
    Spanish Tortilla

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:37 am, edited 1 time in total
    Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:58 am
    Forum Host

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:28 am, edited 4 times in total
    Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:59 am
    Forum Host

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:48 am, edited 9 times in total
    Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:49 am
    Forum Host
    Ok, I guess Ill get this game started. icon_biggrin.gif Ive made two super yummy olivey recipes. yummy.gif
    I got lucky, organic olives went on sale just yesterday. icon_biggrin.gif

    Cream Cheese Salsa Dip W/ Cheddar & Olives #264104 by Suzy_Q

    Date and Olive Oil Wine Crackers #448979 by duonyte

    Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:45 pm
    Forum Host
    Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:57 pm
    Forum Host
    Sharon123 icon_arrow.gif Spanish Olive Tapenade #371141 by Charlotte J.
    Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:51 am
    Forum Host
    Hey Sharon! wave.gif

    Thanks for stopping by! icon_smile.gif Your recipes sound sooo yummy! yummy.gif

    Susie D
    Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:38 am
    Forum Host
    I made icon_arrow.gif New York Strip Steak With Kalamata-Olive Chimichurri #353579 by Dr Jenny last night.
    Susie D
    Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:45 am
    Forum Host
    Susie D
    Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:53 am
    Forum Host
    I would like to kick off my Olive Festival and tag

    icon_arrow.gif Italiano Pasta Salad #386825 by gailanng
    icon_arrow.gif Green Olivida Crostini #456032 by BakinBaby
    Nancy's Pantry
    Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:24 am Groupie
    Count me in -- I love olives - the more the better!!

    I would like to tag:

    Chicken Thighs With Tomatoes, Olives and Capers (135297) by justcallmetoni

    Moroccan Lemon Chicken With Olives (324785) by Sydney Mike

    Goat Cheese & Black Olive Mashed Potatoes (10977) by Bergy

    Potato Salad With Capers, Kalamata Olives and Artichoke Hearts (221292) by Cookgirl

    Thanks!!! icon_lol.gif
    Susie D
    Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:56 am
    Forum Host
    Please add to my tags

    icon_arrow.gif Orange-Pineapple Couscous #422127 by Nancy's Pantry
    Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:18 pm
    Forum Host
    Hey Susie, hey Nancy, its lovely of you two to join into our olive game this month! icon_biggrin.gif

    Oh, mmm, all the recipes sound soo good! yummy.gif Ill get you updated tomorrow as Im off to a bff's bday party in a sec. icon_biggrin.gif

    Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:45 pm
    Forum Host
    Susie D wrote:
    I made icon_arrow.gif New York Strip Steak With Kalamata-Olive Chimichurri #353579 by Dr Jenny last night.

    Oh lovely, this sound very nice. Ill get it added to your list. yummy.gif

    Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:46 pm
    Forum Host
    Susie D wrote:
    My recipes including olives are:

    Black-Eyed Peas Salad

    Orzo With Tomatoes, Feta, and Green Onions

    Mmm, now these really make my mouth water. yummy.gif

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