European Table Olives: Showcasing Superior Quality And Taste

olive youThe Panhellenic Association of Table Olives Processors, Packers and Exporters (PEMETE) has presented its ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ campaign in the USA.

The campaign is a three-year promotional programme co-funded by the European Union, which aims to increase the awareness and demand for European table olives of both professionals and consumers as well as to develop exports in the target markets of USA and Canada.

The ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ campaign was launched at the Summer Fancy Food Show, the largest food and beverage trade show in North America, held this year in New York on June 25-27, with more than 40,500 registered participants.

Under the umbrella of the Olive You campaign, PEMETE and seven of its member companies participated in this important international food show, highlighting the superior quality and high standards of European table olives.

Campaign Launch

Over 2,000 distributors and HoReCa sectors visited the ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ booths and were presented with European Table Olives varieties and informed about their superior quality and flavours. They also had the opportunity to taste this healthy product.

olive-you-european-table-olives-showcasing-superior-quality-and-tasteIn addition, 200 participants completed campaign questionnaires aiming to provide insights about the American consumers current perception about this food product.

Following the event, the three-year ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ campaign in the US and Canada will approach journalists, chefs, foodies, retailers and consumers of all ages, through promotional activities, events, sampling, and publicity, in order to familiarise the public with this natural and delicious food product.

PEMETE is a professional association, founded in 1970, that promotes the interests of table olive exporters. The 46 member-companies of PEMETE represent more than 90% of Greece’s exports of table olives to more than 100 countries.

(Source: https://www.esmmagazine.com)

How to choose a good table olive

Featured-Image1Learn these important points on how to choose a good table olive

Olives are one of those unique foods that don’t only taste delicious, but also offer many health benefits. It is however important to learn how to choose a good table olive, since they vary extensively in appearance, flavour and texture.

We asked the South African Olive Industry Association how to choose a good table olive. Here are a few pointers:

How to choose a good olive1. Looks
The first characteristic to take important notice of is of course the appearance of the olive. The olive must always looks physically appealing and it must make you want to eat it immediately. Physical defects are not good.

2. Aroma
Next important point is smell. A good olive will always smell great. The aroma will give a good indication of how the processing was managed as most of the volatile components are a result of the fermentation process. If not fermented, the aroma is usually that of the added ingredients, like garlic, herbs and various other flavourings. An off-fermentation will be noticeable on the nose, and any off-odour is totally unacceptable in quality table olives.

3. Taste
Right so now we get to the taste. As with anything, taste and flavour are very subjective, so we always suggest that newbies to olives start with a blander product, just like they start new wine drinkers with a sweeter wine. Once hooked on these little delicacies, then move onto products with more flavour, the natural olive flavour in particular. A fully fermented table olive should display a balance between the natural flavour of the fruit, the natural lactic acid and the added salt and vinegar.

4. Texture
A good table olive should have a degree of firmness in the flesh, without being tough or woody. The skin should not be too tough and the flesh should detach from the pit quite easily. The texture is determined by many factors, but most importantly is when the olives are harvested and cultivated. The methods of processing play an important role, which can either maintain the texture of the olive or compromise it.

5. Final tip
It’s important to experience as many different styles and flavours as possible and in so doing, build up a profile of the olives you like.

For more information please visit www.saolive.co.za or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SaOliveIndustryAssociation 

It’s the pits choosing between these olive varieties

My 2-year-old grandson, Landon, loves olives and pickles, which he calls “ahwives” and “bickles.” And, no, they aren’t the best thing for him, but what’s a grandmother to do when 13751he’s holding up his chubby little hand begging for “ahwives?” I’ll tell you what we do – we give him some. Not much, but some. I can’t blame him. I love olives and pickles, too.  However, once I check out the sodium and fat content, I don’t eat many of them. My recipe today is a soup from Food & Wine magazine that sounds really interesting. I haven’t tried it yet, but I intend to – maybe this evening, if I get time. But first, here’s a little info about olives you might or might not know:
Olives have been held in high esteem in Mediterranean cultures. To the ancient Greeks, the olive tree was a gift from the gods. Today, olives are recognized as a delightful addition to soups, salads, and – well, most anything you want. Here’s a sampling of the more popular kinds:

Atalanti – From the town of Atalanti in eastern Greece, these purple-green Greek olives are pale, medium-round with a luscious, fruity flavor and fleshy texture. They are packed in vinegar brine.

California black – Firm black olives with a mild flavor. Green olives are cured in a lye solution that causes them to oxidize and turn black.

California Sicilian – Large green olives with a sharp taste. In 1769, olives were introduced to California by the Spanish. Today, California produces about 200,000 tons of commercial olives per year.

Chinese preserved – Shriveled medium-sized olives cured with salt, sugar, or honey and licorice root.

Greek green – “Prasines” are firm, fleshy, large, round and purplish-green. They have a mild, fruity flavor and crunchy texture.

Green cracked – “Tsakistes” are large, firm green olives with cracked flesh, but not to the stone. They marinate in oil mixed with herbs, garlic, lemon, onion, or fennel. Their sharp flavor pairs nicely with cheese.

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Fair time: How about a deep-fried olive on a stick?

The lakes area’s own Helmer family were noted in this month’s Better Homes and Gardens to mark the arrival of state fair season, also known as food-on-a-stick season. The Helmers will be back at the Minnesota State Fair with their deep-fried olives, which won best new food chosen by WCCO television, last year.The queen green olives are stuffed with cream cheese and deep fried in a special seasoned batter. Carol Helmer said many people didn’t realize the olive was a fruit.


The Helmer family has worked in the concession business for more than 20 years. Fred and Carol Helmer had a retail store providing frozen foods before they moved into the concession business. Their deep-fried fruit was years in the making to perfect the right mix and taste. Then the Helmers were faced with the daunting task of being accepted as a concession stand by the fair.

They applied for 14 years before they were finally accepted in 2007.

They had a brightly colored concession trailer custom made for them and developed an entire list of fruit snacks on a stick. Their idea for fried and fresh fruit brought a new element to fair foods.

They said the idea for fried fruit came when their daughter Alison, then age 14, dropped her lunch of grapes into batter and deep fried them.

Grapes, strawberries, pineapple, banana, apples and peaches are all on the list to be placed in a sweet batter and deep fried. Carol Helmer described the result as a warm pie on a stick. Toppings include powdered sugar, cinnamon with sugar or chocolate. They expanded the menu to include fruit smoothies with or without ice cream and fresh fruit bowls, and then added a fruity salsa served cinnamon and sugar chips.

Fried Fruit on-a-Stick is near the State Fair Grandstand. Working the fair continues to be a family affair for the Helmers.




Olive Tapenade with green & black olives

I find this tapenade to be very addicting! I like to eat it with a neutral tasting cracker, such as Blue Diamond Nut-Thins and Le Pain de fleurs Buckwheat Crispbread are also really good.
Olive Tapenade with green & black olives
Low-FODMAP, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free
makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 can (dr. wt. 6 oz.) pitted, whole black olives, drained
1 can (dr. wt. 6 oz.) pitted, whole green olives, drained
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon garlic oil (try my quick or oven-roasted recipes)
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
3 large, fresh basil leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Whirl until it forms a smooth paste (about 1 minute in a food processor). You can serve this at room temp but I actually like to eat it chilled. Serve with crackers or as a sandwich spread. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

(Source: http://www.deliciousasitlooks.com)

Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives | Friday Night Bites

When I am at , nine times out of ten, I make my way to the olive bar.  They house one of the best selections in the Bay Area of olives without having to venture to a specialty shop in San Francisco.  One of my absolute favorites is the Castelvetrano Olive.  It is grown exclusively in western Sicily among the Belice river valley, near the town of Castelvetrano.  The prime time for harvesting is the beginning of October through mid November.  DSC02515

Contrary to popular belief, this olive is not actually cured, but goes through a similar process as to the California style black ripe olives.  The olive is washed in lye, or caustic soda for up to 12 hours.  It takes the bitterness out of the olive and then it is continually washed in fresh water to remove the lye.  Then it is either refrigerated or canned.  This process produces an intense green color and sweet flavor profile.   A great pairing to this beautiful olive is parmesan-reggiano, mozzarella, marcona almonds and Genoa salami.

I wanted to create a quick recipe that was packed with flavor we could enjoy for our Friday Night Bites.  Hubby doesn’t like anything with a pit or bones, so luckily Whole Foods had the pitted version of the Castelvetrano olive.  The idea of serving warm olives with garlic, citrus, spicy red pepper and fresh thyme simply resonated with me.  The flavor combination was simply divine, fresh and a perfect little bite.  I actually serve with a small fork so you can get the different bits of flavor in one bite.  The zest of the orange and lightly toasted slice of garlic with a fleck of spicy red pepper was a wonderful treat for my mouth. If you want to kick up your olives and impress your guests, this is the recipe for you!

Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives

DSC025002 Cups Castelvetrano Olives

6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and sliced thin

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

Zest of one Orange

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and olives and heat on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Be careful not to have the heat too high or the garlic will burn.  Right before serving, add the orange zest and thyme leaves and toss.  Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

(Source: http://authenticsuburbangourmet.blogspot.gr)-def50

Great colours and flavours salad

Mixed Tomato Salad with Cucumber & Olives

Tom salad1A bright and colourful cornucopia of mixed summer vine ripened and cherry tomatoes, this vibrant Mixed Tomato Salad with Cucumber and Olives is delicious as it spectacular. Tossed with diced English or Persian cucumber, tangy Kalamata olives, crunchy red onion, a handful of fresh herbs and dressed with a simple oil and vinegar or homemade vinaigrette, this light and refreshing Mediterranean-style salad celebrates the richness of summer’s bounty. Garnish with fresh feta, crumbled goat cheese, creamy Buffalo mozzarella or large curls of shaved pecorino for an extra blast of flavour and texture.

Mixed Tomato Salad with Cucumber & Olives (Serves 8-10)

Tom salad2
4 red hot house tomatoes
4 yellow hot house tomatoes
2 cups red, yellow and orange cherry tomatoes, halved
1 english cucumber, quartered and sliced 
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup pitted, sliced Kalamata olives
1/4 cup mixed herbs, such as cilantro, chives and basil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dried Greek oregano
Maldon salt and fresh ground black pepper

tom salad3In a large bowl toss to combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives and herbs and drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Arrange the dressed salad on a large platter and garnish with Greek oregano, Maldon salt and black pepper to taste.

(Source: http://scrumpdillyicious.blogspot.gr)

Sausage and Black Olive Gluten-free Pizza

From “Cooking Light: Gluten-Free Baking” by Robert Landolphi

20140703_pizza2 teaspoons sugar | 1 package dry yeast | ½ cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees) | 3.65 ounces white rice flour (about ¾ cup) | 1.4 ounces sweet white sorghum flour (about ¹⁄3 cup) | 1.4 ounces tapioca flour (about ¹⁄3 cup) | 1.7 ounces potato starch (about ¼ cup) | 0.9 ounce flaxseed meal (about ¼ cup) | 1 teaspoon xanthan gum | ¼ teaspoon salt | 1 tablespoon olive oil | 2 large egg whites | 1 large egg | Cooking spray | 4 ounces turkey Italian sausage (1 link) | ½ cup lower-sodium marinara sauce | 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup) | 2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives


Instructions: Dissolve sugar and yeast in ½ cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Weigh or lightly spoon flours, potato starch and flaxseed meal into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, potato starch, flaxseed meal, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Add yeast mixture, oil, egg whites and egg; beat at low speed until combined.

Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes. Spoon dough onto an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet coated with cooking spray and lined with parchment paper. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray; press dough into an 11-by-12-inch rectangle.

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Roast Tomato, Onion, Feta, Olive And Basil Salad

When I made the zucchini, haloumi and feta fritters recently I wanted a delicious salad to go with it.  I love roast tomatoes and often make a risotto with roasted cherry tomatoes, so I decided to try roast tomatoes (this time Roma tomatoes) in a salad.  The results were delicious.

I love how roasted tomatoes take on a juicy, sweet flavour that is so much more intense than an unroasted tomato.  The roasted onion takes on a sweetness too, and coupled with the fresh creamy danish feta and basil it’s a flavour extravaganza.


  • roma tomatoes (large, quartered)
  • purple onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pepper, salt
  • 30 grams Chalkidiki olives (green)
  • 50 grams feta (I prefer Danish Feta)
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsps white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 clove garlic (grated)

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Table Olive Processing (Method 1)

fermentationThis method is similar to the natural fermentation process we use. It allows the sugars in the olives to ferment and form lactic acid. The end result will be well worth the effort and the wait. All the wonderful flavours are preserved and this gives the olives its delicious taste.

 Green Olives:

  • Green olives are soaked in a caustic soda solution of between 1,3 and 2,6% for ±15 hours. The time may vary according to the size and ripeness of the fruit. After a few hours, take out an olive and make a cut through the flesh. When the lye has penetrated two thirds of the distance between the surface of the fruit and the pit, it is ready to be washed.
  • Also try to prevent the olives from coming into contact with air, as this can cause the colour to go dark or an unattractive khaki green. Keep in an airtight container (stainless steel, glass or high grade plastic will not affect the taste) through the entire process.
  • In the mean time prepare the brine by dissolving 1 kilogram of salt in 10 litres of clean water.
  • Now rinse the olives many times with clean, cold water to remove soapiness and caustic residue. This step is very important, because you don’t want your olives to taste of caustic soda or “soapy”.
  • Place the olives into a suitable container and cover completely with the brine. Make sure the container has a tight fitting lid.
  • Leave to ferment ±12 months. Taste them from time to time and decide for yourself when they are to your taste.

Bottling: Remove from the brine, rinse with clean water and place into glass jars and cover with hot brine. To make the brine solution: 20g Salt mixed into 1 liter boiling water. Cover immediately and leave to cool. Store in a cool place and refrigerate after opening.  Wine vinegar may be added to taste. You may even add sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme or a few cloves of garlic or lemon slices.

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The Blue Cheese Martini

Meet the Willy Wonka of extraordinary cocktails

p11-joe-mixology-a-20140611-200x200Contrary to expectation, the Blue Cheese Martini at the Akasaka branch of Code Name Mixology is a subtle concoction. The cocktail is clear, served in a delicate crystal glass, with three olives on the side. The cheese aroma hovers faintly on the nose, but the first sip is mildly sweet and fruity. The character of the drink changes completely after eating one of the olives: The blue-cheese flavor billows across the palate, mingling with the briny spiciness of the olive. As the savory sensation recedes, hints of pear and lemon rise to the surface, followed by an earthy smokiness in the finish.

It’s a moment that reminds me of the scene in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” where eccentric candy maker Willy Wonka unveils his Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum. Code Name Mixology owner and head bartender Shuzo Nagumo has created a salad of contrasting flavors in liquid form — without the unpleasant side effects of Wonka’s invention.

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Green olives with chilli lamb meatballs

6192020-largeIngredients, serves 4:

250g lean minced lamb | 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion | 1 teaspoon ground cumin | 1 teaspoon ground coriander |1 medium carrot, grated | 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint | salt and freshly ground black pepper | 2 tablespoons olive oil | 3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce | 1 jar or tin of green olives, drained | mint leaves, to garnish

Put the lamb, red onion, ground cumin and ground coriander into a mixing bowl with the grated carrot and mint. Season with salt and pepper and mix together thoroughly. Form into about 30 small meatballs – it helps if you have wet hands for this.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and gently fry the meatballs for 12–15 minutes, turning occasionally – though do this gently to avoid breaking them up.

Drain the meatballs on kitchen paper, then put them in a serving bowl and spoon the chilli sauce on top. Place the olives among the meatballs and serve at once, garnished with fresh mint leaves.
(Source: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk)

Grilled Potatoes With Feta, Green Olives and Mint

The flavors of the grill penetrate these potatoes to give them a nice smoky accent. The saltiness from the feta and olives gives them a great punch. And the herbs and citrus zest brighten the entire dish.

This potato salad goes nicely with a steak, chicken, fish and it’s also perfect on its own. I love to serve it with a cinnamon and coriander-spiced skirt steak.



2 1/4 pounds small red-skinned new potatoes | 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided | 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt | 1/2 cup water | 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest | 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped | 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped | 2 teaspoons fresh oregano or marjoram leaves, chopped | 1/2 cup Chalkidiki olives, pitted, coarsely chopped | 3 ounces feta, crumbled | Freshly ground black pepper

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Baked Feta Cheese with Olives

Note: This recipe is designed for a wood oven, but the dish can be made in a 450-degree conventional oven.

baked feta cheese1 1/2 cups mixed olives, pitted or not, in brine | 1 tablespoon chopped lemon thyme | 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from about 1 orange) | 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice | 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes | 1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds | 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided | 16 ounces French sheep’s milk feta, cut into 1-inch cubes | Crostini, for serving

1. Drain the olives and place them in a small bowl. Add thyme, zest, juice, pepper flakes, fennel seeds and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside. This can be made several hours in advance and held at room temperature.

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Eat more olives to ward off cancer, improve overall health

(NaturalNews) Olives are much more than a tasty side dish to be enjoyed as an appetizer. They pack a punch when it comes to health, and as such, are ideal to add to meals like salads. In fact, studies have found that olives have compounds that help fight cancer, specifically of the colon and breast (1).12.

One study from the University of Barcelona discovered that the skin of an olive contains maslinic acid, which is known to kill off cancer cells and drastically slow down the growth of colon cancer cells. Impressively, the concentration of maslinic acid in olive skin may be as high as 80 percent (1).

The second study, this time conducted jointly by researchers at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Girona and the University of Granada, found that phenols in extra-virgin olive oil played a role in the death of breast cancer cells, a process called “apoptosis” (1).

It’s no wonder then, that olives make the George Mateljan Foundation’s list of The World’s Healthiest Foods for their ability to fight cancer, among other things. In a description on their web site, it’s stated that the “Antioxidant phytonutrients in olives may have a special ability to protect DNA (deoxyribonucleic acids)–the key chemical component of genetic material in our cells–from oxygen damage.” (2)

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Orzo salad with Kalamata olives, dried cranberries, and walnuts

Serves 6

Margie Coloian, of Johnston, R.I., sent an orzo salad to The Recipe Box Project, in which readers send in their favorite family dishes. This uses just a few tablespoons of light vinaigrette dressing, which is tossed with orzo, the flat rice-shaped pasta, Kalamata olives, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, red onion, and tomato. “The dish balances the saltiness of olives with the sweetness of cranberries,” writes Coloian. Add feta cheese crumbles to make the dish richer.


2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar | Salt and pepper, to taste | 1 clove garlic, smashed | 1 tablespoon olive oil

1. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, salt, and pepper.

2. Whisk in the oil. Add the garlic. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.


1/2 cup walnuts | Salt and pepper, to taste | 1 cup orzo | 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped | 1 large tomato, coarsely chopped | 1/4 red onion finely chopped | 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped | 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley | 1/2 cup dried cranberries | 1/2 cup crumbled feta chees (opt) | Olive oil (for sprinkling)

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Saffron-Braised Chicken With Olives and Dukkah

This recipe from chef Larry McGuire of Jeffrey’s and Josephine House in Austin, Texas, pairs chicken braised in saffron-scented white wine with briny green olives and a dusting of the Egyptian spice mix dukkah.

OD-BC355_SFF_05_G_20140521152424Total Time: 35 minutes Serves: 4

2 pounds chicken thighs and/or legs, bone-in and skin-on, Pinch of sweet paprika, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon saffron, 1½ cups dry white wine, 4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch-long sticks, 1 large yellow onion, cut into ½-inch dice, 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed, ¾ cup pitted green olives (such as Castelvetrano), 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1½ cups chicken stock, 1 cup pistachios, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, Chopped parsley, for garnish, Juice of 1 lemon, plus 4 lemon wedges for garnish

1. Sprinkle chicken all over with paprika and salt. Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken, skin-side down. Cook until skin crisps and browns, 5 minutes, then flip and cook 3 minutes more. Remove chicken from Dutch oven and set aside.

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Greek Deep Fried Olives

Greek deep Fried Olives 1About 20 green olives stuffed with either sun dried tomatoes, cream cheese or pimentos.
1/3 cup corn flour
1 -2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying. About 1 cup. I use peanut oil, because it has a very high burn point.
Salt to taste
Combine the panko crumbs and parmesan cheese.  Mix well.
Dip olives in egg wash, then in the cornflour. This step is important, as the corn flour helps the crumb mixture adhere to the olive better.

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Even Mama would approve

r0_0_2180_1590_w1200_h678_fmaxPizzas: Singapore chilli crab – Alaskan king crab, shallots and caramelised onions on a hoisin sweet chilli and garlic base, garnished with fresh coriander and chilli; sangria duck ragu – duck ragu marinated in sangria-infused jus, mandarin segments, bocconcini and shallots on a tomato base, topped with fresh shredded radicchio; Vietnamese chilli chicken – marinated chicken breast fillets and shallots on a hoisin sweet chilli and garlic base, garnished with slaw, fresh coriander, chilli and coriander aioli; c. 1889 margherita – originating in 1889, a margherita with buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomatoes on a tomato base, garnished with fresh basil and served with cracked pepper and sea salt; roast beetroot pizza – slow-cooked roast beetroot, baby spinach, bocconcini on a harissa-infused hummus base, topped with crushed walnuts and honey; chicken tikka healthier choice pizza – chicken breast fillets marinated in tandoori spices, eggplant and spanish onions on a tomato base topped with chilli mango chutney; spiced pumpkin healthier choice pizza – roasted pumpkin seasoned with moroccan spices, kalamata olives, baby spinach, roasted capsicum and bocconcini on a tomato base.

Sides: Radicchio salad – shredded radicchio, mandarin segments, feta, basil and crushed walnuts dressed with balsamic glaze; roast beetroot salad – slow-cooked roasted beetroot, baby spinach, feta, crushed walnuts and fresh herbs dressed with honey.

Desserts: Elvis crumble dessert pizza – layered banana chocolate chip cake and caramel peanut butter topped with baked crumble, banana and icing sugar.

(Source: http://www.theherald.com.au)

Olive Oil, Honey Could Help Lift Greece Out of Recession

iFM0QgSNILGoGreek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is calling on manufacturers of traditional foods and beverages, from fish-roe producers to honey makers, to play a bigger role in transforming the country into an export economy.

Greece, which saw exports fall 0.2 percent to 27.3 billion euros ($37.5 billion) in 2013, needs food and beverage companies to catch up with export-oriented industries like fuels and do more to help pull the country out of a six-year recession, Samaras told industry representatives on the island of Lesvos May 13.

More Greek food companies, some of whom were forced to look for sales outside their traditional home market as the crisis shrank the economy, should focus “on processing agricultural produce in order to bring Greek products to international markets,” Samaras said. “Today, 200 large companies account for 85 percent of production while 17,000 small and medium-sized companies have huge potential.”

elies-agrotesGreek exports of agricultural products including food, beverages and vegetable oils rose 3.5 percent by value in 2013 to 4.75 billion euros, according to the Panhellenic Exporters Association. At around 17 percent of the total value of Greek exports, the food and beverage industry trails fuels and industrial goods like machinery and chemical products as the country’s top export category.

Greece’s economy contracted at its slowest pace in four years in the first quarter, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said May 15. The European Commission forecasts that Greek GDP will grow 0.6 percent this year, its first annual expansion since 2007.

(Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/)