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THE WONDERS OF OLIVE OIL - Now with Videos
The Andalucian Girl Olive Harvest
Another video showing olive picking in the south of france
It is generally accepted that the first country to cultivate the Olive Tree was Greece. The precious liquid extracted from the fruits was exported from Crete to Mainland Greece, Asia Minor and North Africa.The export of the liquid gold played a major role in Crete's economy.
When the Romans occupied Greece they learned the secrets of cultivation and nowadays the Italians produce greater quantities of Olive Oil than Greece.
Green olives produce bitter oil, and over-ripe olives produce rancid oil, so as a general rule; only perfectly ripened olives are used for oil making. The most traditional way of making olive oil is by grinding the fruits. First they are ground to a paste using large millstones. The olive paste generally stays under the stones for 30–40 minutes. The oil extracted during this part of the process is called Extra Virgin Oil. After grinding, the paste is spread onto disks, which are stacked on top of each other, then placed in the press. Pressure is then applied to the disk to extract more oil from the paste. The end product of this pressing is Virgin Olive Oil. Heat and chemicals are used to extract the remaining oil from the waste pulp and the stones. This refined oil is not sold for cooking unless it is blended with Virgin Olive Oil to produce what is called simply Olive Oil. In its refined state it has no nutritional or health benefits.
LEMON OLIVE OIL CAKE
Olive oil cake is moister than cake made with margarine or butter, and it stays fresh longer. This unusual fruity cake is surprisingly more'ish and makes a delicious tea-time treat.
8 Tbsp olive oil (Not virgin as this has too strong a flavour)
5 Tbsp + 1Tsp Sauternes (or other sweet white wine)
16 Tbsp Flour
1/2 tsp salt
5 large eggs, separated
2 large egg whites
12 Tbsp sugar
4Tbsp fresh lemon zest
1 punnet fresh mixed berries, (save some for garnish)
4 Tbsp Icing sugar
Vegetable oil, for brushing pan
Preheat oven to 325°/160º. Brush a 9-inch spring form cake tin with vegetable oil; line bottom with greasproof paper.
In a bowl, beat 5 egg yolks and sugar at medium-high speed about 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light yellow. Add flour and salt to egg mixture and beat on medium-low until well blended. Beat in lemon zest. In another bowl, combine wine and olive oil; gradually pour into bowl with batter mixture in a steady stream, beating until thoroughly combined.
In a clean mixing bowl, beat 7 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold 1/3 of whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites just until combined.
Pour mixture into prepared tin. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until cake springs back when gently touched and skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around edge of tin and detach ring.
Blend berries and icing sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Top cake with puree and whole fresh berries. Sprinkle with more icing sugar for decoration if desired
LESSER KNOWN USES FOR OLIVE OIL
Whilst Olive Oil is best known for it's culinary uses; did you know that it can also be used as a lubricant for blades and hinges? This only one of the hundreds of unusual uses for this wonder ingredient. See below for a few others:
- Skin moisturiser
- Leather conditioner
- Mascara remover
- Paint remover from skin and hair
- Freeing stuck zips
- Revitalise your old Chamois wash leather by soaking in warm water to which 1tsp of olive oil has been added. Keep stirring though.
- Prevents hairballs in cats and dogs (1 teaspoon per day)
- For shining chrome and stainless steel appliances, pots and pans
- Floor polish - Mix together three parts lemon juice and one part Olive Oil for a nice shiny finish on your wooden floor
- Hair conditioner (apply warm oil to hair; cover with plastic bag for 40mins then shampoo and rinse).
- Cure earache (add a few drops warmed oil to ear cavity and it well soften hardened wax deposits)
- Use as a shaving aid if you run out of shaving foam.
- Lip balm. Mix olive oil and melted beeswax in equal amounts adding an essential oil for a nice smell - I like Rose Otto.
- Clean greasy hands by mixing olive oil with salt or sugar and rubbing vigorously. Wash with soap and water and all the grease should be gone
- Nappy (diaper) rash, just smooth on at nappy change time
- Shoe shine
- As a remedy for thinning hair
- Treat head lice without chemicals. Apply olive oil to hair, and leave on for at least 40 minutes. Shampoo twice to get rid of the oil and the lice.
- Good for cleaning dirty garden tools - also acts a barrier to dirt next time you use them
- Soothe a tickly cough - just swallow a teaspoon of virgin olive oil.
And finally; one strange and unbelievable use:
As a remedy for Acne. Weird when you think that acne is due to excess oil production but many people swear by this remedy, used two to three times a week. Mix 4 parts salt with 3 parts olive oil. Work all around the face and leave on for two to three minutes. Rinse off with warm soapy water. Do this daily for the first week and then two to three times weekly until condition improves sufficiently to stop using.
© Susan Bailey 2008 All Rights Reserved