Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Journal January 29, 2013

Yet another olive variety arrived today from Turkey, and this one is definitely the last, for sure! 
This variety, Edremit, also known as Ayralik, is so rare I can find little information regarding it.  It appears to be one of those varieties that is cultivated in only a specific region and is named after the region.  

This is what I was able to find regarding Edremit olives:

Edremit Olives are produced around the city of Edremit as well as in grafted trees throughout the the region of Akhisar. The Edremit olive is hard, bright and its pit is larger in size. It contains high amount of olive. Hence used, most commonly, for olive oil production.

The area of Ayvalik is inseparable from the notion of olive oil, this being the home of the country’s best, fruitiest, smoothest, most golden-delicious version of the liquid condiment, which the nation eats at every single eating occasion of the day starting with breakfast.
Ayvalik’s Fabled Olive Oil | Olive Oil TimesThis area, on the north-eastern shores of the Aegean is equaled only by Crete and Tuscany for the ideal climate and just the right soil, just the right elevation on hills that rise directly from beaches. Under these conditions grow the most perfect Mediterranean olives to ripen for their pressing late in Fall, as they’ve been doing uninterruptedly for millenia.
The life-giving green/purple little fruits have been cultivated here from times immemorial and crushed to yield their precious oil, used forever in all the finest aspects of civilized life, from sacred offerings, to cleansing the body and nourishing the skin, and of course on the table where its magical qualities can heighten even the humblest ingredient into a delicacy.
Ayvalik’s Fabled Olive Oil | Olive Oil TimesAyvalik’s history was kick-started sometime in the Neolithic Age by migrants from Mesopotamia and Crete, and thrived throughout the Hellenistic period, the Roman conquests, the Byzantine era that peppered the landscape with Greek Orthodox churches, and then five hundred years of the Muslim Ottomans who replaced the crucifixes with minarets leaving the buildings intact wherein to worship the same One God from a different perspective.
Only the olive oil has remained a constant during all these serial conquests and regime-changes, surviving intact to this day to shine virginal and free-flowing to the collective gullet of Modern Turkey. Perplexingly, and despite the world-wide rediscovery and worship of olive oil, the Ayvalik oil is known and consumed only in Turkey.

Well, I hope that at some point in the future this olive, and its oil, will also be consumed in upstate New York.

This variety also fits my criteria of being a table olive.  They sound like they are delicious:

These individually split Edremit olives are pooled in a fresh water and sea salt brine.  Packed with fresh lemons, olive oil and bay leaves. 


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