14 May

Moroccan chicken with chickpeas and olives

Recipe by Valli Little,
Photography by Mark Roper,


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14 May

Fish, nuts and olive oil may cut risk of age-related blindness

A diet of fish, nuts and olive oil, as well as moving away from trans fats, can help lower the risk of a common eye disorder, two separate studies reported this week.

olive-oil-and-eyeThe studies both found that adding omega-3 fatty acids to a diet significantly reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that destroys the macula, which allows individuals to have sharp, central vision needed to read and drive.

In the first study, researchers at the University of Sydney’s Westmead Hospital examined 2,454 volunteers, who were asked to keep a log of their food intake from 1992 to 1994.

They found that eating one serving of fish weekly cut the risk of developing early AMD by 31 percent while a serving or two of nuts weekly lowered AMD risk by 35 percent.

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11 May

Spanish olive oil producers get support from the EU to expand export markets

In an effort to avoid the local drop in sales, Spanish wine and olive oil producers decided to join forces and boost the export market over the next year through promotion and marketing campaign also supported by the Spanish government and EU with a budget between 18 and 45 million euros.

The export market of these products is good but products are sold in bulk and therefore at reduced prices. To increase sales, wine will receive around 16 million euros in EU funds this year, 32 million euros next year and 40 million euros for later campaigns that will take place only in non EU countries.

Olive oil received 1.6 million campaign for the promotion of olive oil in non EU countries financed by Icex, the Andalucian regional government and other 5 million will be used to promote it in countries such as Holland, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and Spain itself.

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10 May

SOS Cuetara to issue 200 mln euros of shares to plug hole

Spain’s SOS Cuetara (SOS.MC) said on Sunday it would issue 200 million euros of new shares to plug a hole in its accounts after top executives were discovered siphoning off funds to buy shares in the olive oil bottler.

SOS said it was restating 2008 results and booking a loss after it emerged that chairman and deputy chairman Jesus and Jaime Salazar had channelled 212 million euros of the firm’s money into a holding company to buy SOS shares and then sell them to a sovereign wealth fund. That sale never went through.

The brothers were fired in April and neither has been arrested.

“After a long session that lasted all of Sunday, the board decided to make a significant provision against 2008 results,” the statement from the world’s biggest olive oil bottler said.

Following the restatement, which also took account of speculative exchange rate dealing, SOS said it made a net loss of 190 million euros last year, not the 32 million euro profit it reported in March.

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10 May

Two Microsoft millionaires cultivate high-end Italian olive oil

By Melissa Allison & Amy Martinez,

This fall during the olive harvest in Italy, Dan McCarthy plans to have about 180 bottles of freshly pressed olive oil shipped by air from the 50-acre Tuscan estate of his former Queen Anne customers, Enzo Schiano and Claire Beliard.

enzo-schianoTo cover the airfreight, McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants will add about $6 to the regular $27 price of a 500-milliliter bottle of Poggio la Noce.

Last year, customers descended on the retailer’s 120 bottles of the “olio nuovo” — new oil — like lovers of French wine greet Beaujolais Nouveau.

Sales of high-end olive oil have slowed, but some Seattleites remain willing and able to pay up for a fresh bottle to drizzle on salads, fresh vegetables and pasta.

Schiano and Beliard, who bought the Italian acreage in 1999 after making millions in marketing and business development at Microsoft, convinced McCarthy that olive oil could be worth a higher price when they brought some Poggio la Noce to Seattle a few years ago.

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