OFF THE SHELF I FOOD
the epic tale of olive oil
Reap the health and culinary benefits of this mythic elixir By Lisa Turner
I n 1 5 0 0 B C , in the rocky country- fragrances, rubbed on the body to
side of ancient Greece, there grew a confer strengtb and longevity, and
sturdy tree tbat bore rich and fragrant treasured as a currency for trade.
faiit. Its origins are as legendary as its Not to be outdone by the
resilience. According to mythology, tbe Greeks, Roman rulers soon
goddess Athena, in afiercecompetition ordered the cultivation of olive
with the god Poseidon to be the patron trees, and Italy enjoyed a robust
deity ofthe then-unnamed Athens, olive oil trade by the first century.
presented the city the veryfirstolive Mot surprisingly, it was in Italy
tree. The city's king, Cecrops, accepted that the true culinary promise of
the olive tree, which would later bring olive oil was realized. Early
Athens wood, oil, food, and promi- Romans are credited with first
nence in the Mediterranean basin. using the oil as a condiment, DiD YOU KNOW?
As olive trees propagated and covered drizzling it over roasted game, Winners of Olympic games
the lands around the Mediterranean, lentils cooked with leeks and in ancient Greece were
the Greeks discovered that pressing tbe coriander, tuna cooked with crowned with a wreath of
fruit yielded a rich, fragrant oil. It was shallots and mint, or a Cretan olive leaves,
infused witb aromatic herbs and mixture of herbs, aaigula, considered the highest of
fresh salted cheese, and
honors to receive.
peppered vinegar. Early Romans
also realized the health benefits
of olive oil, and ii is said they
used it to counteract poisons, heal processed. Olives ciMU.iin oil just after
wounds, and treat digestive problems. they've turned a light-green hue; the oil
Now, modern researchers bave content increases as they ripen. Truly
validated some of tbese early uses along remarkable oils come from olives that
with a heroic list of others: Olive oil is have been grown under prime condi-
famed for protecting tbe heart, reducing tions and harvested at just tbe rigbt
tbe risk of cancer, lessening symptoms stage of ripeness and maturity. Early-
of arthritis, and controlling blood sugar. barvest oils, when tbe olives are still
Product Examples Most recently, one study showed tbat green, have a peppery, astringent quality
Lapas Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil: olive oil belps treat bacterial infections that aficionados describe as grassy,
From mature organic farms in Greece's that cause gastritis and ulcers—proof green, bitter, or leafy. Tbese oils are also
Peloponnese region. that there often exists some truth in bigber in polyphenols and antioxi-
mythology. dants—those healthy compounds we
Montebetio Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil: all seek. Later harvest oils, wben the
An Italian classic, From organic silver and fruit is black and fully ripe, have a
green olive trees. Harvesting Nature's lighter, fruity, almost sweet flavor, and
Liquid Gold may be described as having apple,
Spectrum Oi^anic Extra Virgin Olive Oil: But people are now focusing on more melon, floral, or peach notes.
This srbequina olive oil is prized for its aesthetic considerations, including Once harvested, olives are immedi-
nutty flavor and complex nuances. flavor, aroma, and color. Tbese vary ately transferred to a mill where they're
widely depending on many factors, washed and crushed into a paste, whicb
Carm Grande Escoiha Extra Virgin Olive including the type of olive used and its is pressed to release the oils. Tlie first
Oil: A peppery, grassy oil to drizzle on maturity, the region in which it is pressing releases a superlative oil oflow
breads, salads, and meats. grown, and thefinessewith which it is acidity; tbis is tbe "extra virgin" variety.
N A T U R A L E D I C 1 NE
Olive oils are made after the
harvest in the winter months ower of Allergy Keiie
when it's relatively cold, and the
term "cold-pressed" means the
paste lias not been heated above
room temperature before pressing.
Pairing Color and
Flavor with Food
Based on these factors, olive oils
may have hundreds of subtle flavors
and nuances—grassy, herbal, woody,
tloral, and many more. IWo
qualities iliat are undesirable in
other foods—bitterness and
pungency—are prized in olive oil, For spring, summer or
and appear in most quality oils in
varying levels of intensity. Allergy any time allergies.
You may also choose an oil ReLeaf System Rids respiratory, digestive and skin irritation
based on its intended use. Rich, CDcnpleie Nutrillonal and Herbal from dietary and seasonal allergies.*
Support tor the E n ! " f "•'•''••
full-bodied oiis with a deep-green Caims eye, sinus, throat, iung and
hue and robust flavor are best for gastrointestinai tissues.*
strong-flavored or spicy foods, lunimi-isyf-l
No side effects.*
game, red meat, stews, and pasta
dishes. Smoother, more moderate SolutiOTs Vhu Trust-
oils with a fruily or buttery flavor www.herbsetc.com 888.433.1212
are best as finishing oils on lighter
soups, for dipping bread, with
lighter pasta dishes, or for
drizzling over chicken, seafood, or
vegetables. Lighter-colored oils
with a milder, morefloralflavor
More of whaf s good
are best on dishes that will
enhance their subtlety, such as about yogurt.
mild, while fish or green salads,
Olive Oil Goes Global And none of what isn't.
Olive trees and, hence, olive oil
production, have long been
concentrated around the Mediter- No sugar. No fat. Virtually no
ranean basin. Now, however, in calories. And since it's non-dairy,
spite of its beginnings in antiquity, it requires no refrigeration.
the olive tree—and the use of Yet 2 capsules a day provide a
olive oils—has spread througli blend of 16 natural cultures to
many climes. In the last century strengthen your digestive system
especially, people became so
enamored ofthe mythical olive
II'FLOM and boost your immune system.
that its cuttings were spread aaoss Available at fine health food and
the globe. The happy result? Olive drug stores or www.sedonalabs.com
oils hailing from such far-flung
locales as Australia, which yields
outstanding olive oils in late
summer and early fall when oils SEDONA LABS
from the Northern Hemisphere SINCE 1987
' Ttiesa slalemenls have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product
Is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure OF prevent any disease. Empowering Better Healtk"
6200? Nutri-Heatlti SuRplemenls. LLC, BNDlOfl
OFF THE SHELF | FOOD
You like us!
are fading in freshness; as unsurpris- Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a grassy,
You really like us! ing as Argentina, wbere tbe olive tree peppery flavor with subtle floral
spread after it was transported by notes; lovely on bread or drizzled
BEST OF Conquistadors to Mexico and Peru
in tbe 1500s; and as improbable as
over salads, ifyou like a more
BEAUTY Texas, where growing conditions are
not unlike the Mediterranean.
• Turkey. Olivos Extra Virgin Olive
belter . . . .2008
Oil is a balanced oil, clean, and
fruity, with no harsh or bitter
A World of Choices
nutrition Ijcperiment with tliese praiseworthy
undertones; perfect for all purposes,
especially wbere a less prominent
global selections of olive oils—you'll olive taste is called for,
Herpanacine' Skin Support soon develop your own legendary list. • Morocco. Spectrum Organic
System treats the causes - not
• Spain. Nunez de Prado Organic Extra Virgin Moroccan Wild I farvest
the symptoms! Making you
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a robust and Olive Oil is a full, meaty oil with
heolttiy helps your body control
and improve skin conditions. peppery subtle, spicy
oil that's undertones.
A tiealthy body Is mirrored in equally • Chile.
clear, healttiy, beautiful skin! comfort- Petralia Extra
able Virgin Olive
• Strengthens the immune system. starring in Oil is a
^ Balances body chemistry. hearty complex,
• Etfective for alt oges! pasta balanced
• Workstrom the inside ...at the dishes, selection with
root of the problem! drizzled fiiiity
4 Doctor formulated. into bean undertones
stews, or and a mellow
Don't just treat eruptions... prevent lavished finish; it's
them... from the INSIDE OUT! on thick
Olive trees and stone barn at sunset. Tuscany, Italy.
ideal as a
slices of ciabatta. finishing oil, drizzJed over fresh cheese,
• Italy. Montebello Organic Extra cream soups, or grilled vegetables.
Virgin Olive Oil, a medium-bodied oil • Australia. 34 Degrees Extra
with a smooth, sophisticated flavor Virgin Olive Oil comes from tbe
that lends itself lo most uses. Ajiother rich, red soils of southern Australia;
absolutely divine selection is Manni a delicate, fruit-forward selection
Organic Olive Oil, an outrageously with lush tropical notes and a
expensive-but-wonh-it selertion. mellow finish. Perfect for drizzling
• Greece. Divina Extra Virgin over salads or as a delicate finishing
Olive Oil from Crete is a pungent, oil for fresh cheese or white fish.
powerful selection that hints of • Texas. Alfresco Extra Virgin
arugula and artichoke, with subtle Olive Oil is made by First Texas
undertones of garlic and pepper. Olive Oil from mission and arbe-
Lapas Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil quina olives. This lovely selection
from the Peloponnese region is was recently lauded by Saveur
Thank you Better Nutrition tor another noteworthy selection. magazine. In their words, "Bold,
saying whot our customers have • France. Moulin des Penitents fresh and fruity, witb subtle flavors
known tor eighteen years! Extra Virgin Oiive Oil, Haute-Provence of melon and banana." What more
is a smooth, complex seleaion with can be said?
undertones of almond, banana, • California. Spectrum Organic
Dr. Wayne Diamond Formulas artichoke, and vanilla; drizzle it over Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from
FREE sample and coupon: grilled vegetables, salads, fresh cheeses, Spanish arbequina olives. Tbis
CALL TOLL FREE (888) 467-4200 or fish, lulia Child is reported to have robust oil is full-flavored and rich,
ask for Dept. BN8 favored olive oils from Provence over with fruit and nut undertones and
In PA (215) 885-6880, fax (215) 885-6884 all others. just enough peppery bite to keep
emoil: email@example.com or • Portugal. Carm Crande Escoiha things interesting. •
web site: www.diamondformulas.com
Available at fine health food stores.