Monday, 10 November 2008

Olive week - 3. Wood, oil and war

Tapas and tapenade

The olive is a tree of which the whole can be used in some way. The fruit can be used to make oil, as we've seen, and can be eaten either when it is green or when it is ripe and black. Quite ordinary cheap tinned olives can be lifted into delicious tapas, meze or hors d'oeuvre by marinading them in a little oil with chopped garlic, herbs, chilli peppers or other spices. Olives can also be made into tapenade - a paste of green or black olives, oil, seasonings and sometimes anchovies which can be spread on bread or toast.

Olive wood

olive wood_1_1

The wood is used to make beautiful bowls, spoons and boards. The slow-growing nature of the tree makes a lovely grain and each piece is unique.

olive grain_1_1

Olive stones into fuel?

And last week Colin and Carol at Mediterranean Garden Spain had an interesting post about a report from the Spanish Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology on research into turning waste olive stones into bio-diesel fuel.

War on olives

This isn't a political blog, but I couldn't finish this series of posts on the olive without mentioning something which has been of great concern to me for many years - the destruction of Palestinian olive groves by the Israeli army. On the pretext of protecting illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine the army is uprooting thousands of olive trees and making it difficult for Palestinian growers to harvest their crops from others. This deprives families of their livelihood and of decades and even centuries of investment and time which these trees have taken to grow to maturity. The campaign is continuing during this year's harvest as you can read here. I can only hope that the election of the new US president may lead to an improvement in the situation in Palestine and the wider Middle East and an end to the policy of subjecting a symbol of peace to an act of war.

5 comments:

easygardener said...

I picked up an olive wood chopping board many years ago and it is still going strong.
I usually make an olive paste with Kalamata olives (they happen to be the most reliable ones we can buy loose) - lovely on toast and in croissants with cheese!
I agree that whatever the rights and wrongs of the conflict it is sad to see such ancient trees destroyed.

ilex said...

President Obama will fix it- yes he will.

Riana Lagarde said...

what a great post and rock on for writing about Palestine! I hope he can help as well, its so sad over there not to mention devastating for its people.

Titania said...

How wonderful is an Olivetree. From the oils to the fruit to the wood everything can be used. I love to make a good tapenade and eat it with freshly baked bread.
Your concern about the Palestinian olive trees should be the concern of the world. The people are herded more and more into ghettos.
Such a tragedy for a proud people.

carambaole said...

sympa e blog