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The Olive Oil Source invites you to submit a question about olive oil. Before you do, please take a look at our database of questions and answers and the information pages in this extensive website. We answer questions in the order they are received and as time permits. New questions and The Olive Oil Source's answers will be added to our database.



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MEET THE OLIVE OIL SOURCE TEAM OF EXPERTS Who is on The Olive Oil Source's Team of Experts?

The Olive Oil Source is proud to have assembled some of the best known specialists in the olive oil industry to advise us and answer your questions.

Experts

Paul Vossen Paul Vossen, Lead Expert

Farm Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

(707) 565-2621, pmvossen @ ucdavis.edu

Paul Vossen Ag Consulting

(707) 477-4771, pvossen @ sbcglobal.net

Paul Vossen is considered one of the foremost U.S. experts in the olive oil industry. He has been a University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor in Sonoma County since 1980. He works in the areas of fruit tree, berry, and specialty vegetable culture; pest control; olive oil processing; olive oil sensory evaluation; and marketing of farm products. He was one of the founders of the California Olive Oil Council in 1990, he started and managed an olive oil taste panel that became recognized by the International Olive Oil Council in 2001, and currently is the panel leader for the UC Cooperative Extension Research Taste Panel in Santa Rosa, CA. He has conducted research on the effects of irrigation and olive fruit fly damage on olive oil sensory quality, and in identifying the sensory characteristics of oil olive varieties grown in different areas of California. His work was instrumental in the development of the UC manual on organic olive production. Paul has judged olive oils internationally since 1997. He teaches many UC short courses and seminars on olive oil production, processing, and sensory evaluation and works as a private consultant in the field of olive oil ands specialty crops worldwide. He also has many years of practical experience in farming and marketing specialty fruit and vegetable products in Northern California. He currently lives in Sebastopol, California.

Antoinette Addison

VP Business Operations, Figueroa Farms and The Olive Oil Source
Olive Growing, Olive Oil Production, Blending, Chemistry, and Economics Expert

mat@oliveoilsource.com

Antoinette Addison earned an M.S. in Agricultural Sciences from the prestigious Ecole Nationale d'Agronomie in France where she was top of her class. She then earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the Food Research Institute at Stanford University. In 2000, after more than 15 years as a budget director for Stanford University, it was time to return to her first interests, agriculture and food. After she and her husband, Shawn, inherited an olive orchard in Provence, France, and got acquainted with olives, they decided to start Figueroa Farms. They planted an organic olive orchard and started a milling business in the Santa Ynez Valley, California. They have produced many domestic and international award-winning olive oils both for Figueroa Farms and for local producers. Figueroa Farms has become one of the most successful gourmet oil producers in California and their line of oils can be found in most gourmet chains and independent grocery stores. The Addisons have developed an outstanding reputation for the quality of their products and their knowledge about olive orchards and the olive oil making and marketing process. In 2008, they bought The Olive Oil Source, which they have expanded and further developed to meet the needs of the olive oil industry.

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Shawn Addison

President, Figueroa Farms and The Olive Oil Source Olive Growing, Olive Oil Milling, Blending, Marketing, and Economics Expert (805) 688-1014

shawn@oliveoilsource.com

Shawn Addison graduated from Stanford University with an M.A. from the Food Research Institute. He owned a landscape and a construction company and has extensive management experience. After he and his wife, Antoinette, inherited an olive orchard in southern France and got acquainted with olives, they decided to start Figueroa Farms. They planted an organic olive orchard and started a milling business in the Santa Ynez Valley, California. They have produced many domestic and international award-winning olive oils both for Figueroa Farms and for local producers. Figueroa Farms has become one of the most successful gourmet oil producers in California and their line of oils can be found in most gourmet chains and independent grocery stores. The Addisons have developed an outstanding reputation for the quality of their products and their knowledge about olive orchards and the olive oil making and marketing process. In 2008, they bought The Olive Oil Source. Shawn was a member of the Board of Directors of the California Olive Oil Council from 2005 to 2007. He has a unique combination of business experience and on-the-field and at-the-mill experience which allows him to consult successfully on most all aspects of the olive oil industry.

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Product Focus
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Nancy Ash

Product Marketing/Taster, Strictly Olive Oil Olive Oil Industry Marketing and Tasting Expert (510) 247-0765, nancy @ strictlyoliveoil.com

nancy@strictlyoliveoil.com

With an extensive background in specialty food sales and marketing, Nancy Ash consults with domestic and foreign olive oil producers, guiding clients through the many decisions that form the foundation for a successful business. Marketing projects have included business planning, event planning, marketing collateral design, label and packaging design, copywriting, and food styling; Nancy was responsible for all photography in the cookbook The Flavors of Restaurant LuLu, published in 2006. Nancy has participated on both the California Olive Oil Council and the University of California Cooperative Extension Taste Panels, and received certification as an International Taste Panel Supervisor at the University of Imperia (Italy) in December 2005. Since 2007 Nancy has worked with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a Taste Panel for the country of Albania. She currently serves as the Education Coordinator for the California Olive Oil Council, and has taught tasting seminars to groups of producers, consumers and media representatives. Nancy has also served as a panel judge and lead judge at several olive oil competitions.

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Business Advice
Fact or Fiction
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Caroline J. Beck

Pressing Times Editor Author and Consultant CJ Beck Strategic Advisory caroline@oliveoilsource.com

Caroline J. Beck was the editor of The Olive Oil Source's Pressing Times. A food and wine writer, articles and columns penned by Caroline have appeared in many publications including Zester Daily, the Santa Ynez Valley Journal, and Michigan BLUE – Michigan’s Lakestyle Magazine. She began her career in strategic marketing for companies such as Apple Computer and Microsoft then went on to head up entrepreneurial ventures in the entertainment business for Sony Pictures. But after high tech during its heady days, it was inevitable that she would end up turning her attention to a life-long personal passion for food and wine, and a special obsession with olive oil. Various bouts of retirement – the first resulting in an extended trip to Paris and study at the Cordon Bleu; the second building a successful specialty food business in 1997 from her ranch in California and making award-winning olive oil – have not dissuaded her. Caroline’s website provides common sense advice for enthusiastic entrepreneurs looking to succeed in the specialty foods business.
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Industry News
Business Advice
Personality Profile
Book Review;
Product Focus
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Carol Firenze

Author and Educator, The Passionate Olive Olive Oil History and Uses Expert carol @ thepassionateolive.com

Carol Firenze is a noted author and lecturer on the history, mythology and uses of olive oil. A life-long educator and international management consultant, Carol received her doctorate in education at the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis on cross-cultural communication. The basis of her research confirms that the cultivation of the olive tree and the many uses found for its wood, leaves, fruit and oil have had a significant historical impact on trade, commerce, health, medicine, beautification, religion, rituals and culinary practices that actually mirrors the history of western civilization. Carol received her Olive Oil Consultant Certificate of Accomplishment from the Italian Olive Oil Center at the Italian Culinary Institute in New York and is a former Board member of the California Olive Oil Council. She is author of The Passionate Olive – 101 Things to do with Olive Oil. Her work reflects her passion to educate others on the breadth and depth of the uses of olive oil and how olive oil is following that same sophisticated path that wine followed decades ago. She lives in Los Gatos, California.

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Dan Flynn Dan Flynn

Executive Director, UC Davis Olive Center Olive Oil Industry Expert

Dan Flynn is executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center, leading the center’s efforts to promote olive research and education. He also oversees olive oil production for UC Davis, including overseeing the harvest, operating milling equipment, and helping promote the product. Dan served as a consultant to the California State Legislature from 1985 to 2004 in a variety of policy areas and is the former owner and manager of an organic farm in the Sierra foothills. Dan received a B.A. in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a M.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University.

Fran Gage

Writer, Baker, and Olive Oil Aficionado Culinary Expert fran @ frangage.com

Fran Gage owned Fran Gage Pâtisserie Française in San Francisco for ten years. The bakery consistently won critical acclaim locally and nationally for its pastry, bread, and chocolates. She closed the bakery following a fire in 1995 and now writes about food, including articles in San Francisco Chronicle, Saveur, Fine Cooking, Gastronomica, 7 x 7, Kitchen Gardener, and Williams-Sonoma Taste. In addition, she has written six books: Bread and Chocolate, My Food Live In & Around San Francisco, A Sweet Quartet: Sugar, Almonds, Eggs, and Butter, Cake, The Bakers Dozen Cookbook (co-author), and Chocolate Obsession, Confections and Treats to Create and Savor (co-author). Her latest book, The New American Olive Oil, Profiles of Producers and 75 Recipes, is the first book to focus on America’s artisanal olive oil producers. It includes recipes, tips for choosing and storing extra-virgin olive oils, understanding the basic types of olive oils, and even how to host an olive oil tasting. She is a member of the California Olive Oil Council’s Taste Panel and the UC Extension’s Taste Panel. She is also a judge at the Los Angeles International Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Competition and the Yolo County Fair.

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Recipe of the Month
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Alan Greene

President, A Greene Idea
Super-High-Density Orchards, Olive Growing, Olive Oil Production, Sales and Marketing Expert
916-765-4160, alangreene @ surewest.net

Alan is a food marketing and product development consultant with a focus on green approaches to business. From 2003 through 2009, Alan was VP of Sales and Marketing, Business Development, for the first successful Super-High-Density orchard in California, California Olive Ranch. He is a past board member and past President of California Olive Oil Council. In 2010 Alan was the honoree of the Pioneer Award for California olive oil industry leadership. Prior to his immersion in the olive oil industry, he spent over 17 years in marketing and sales management roles at Blue Diamond Growers, the world’s largest almond processor and marketer. Alan has lead business teams in all channels of food production, marketing, and sales - from specialty food catalogs and food service to commodity food ingredients. He has a BS degree in Consumer Behavior from UC Davis.

Dr. Dean Moyer

Educator
Infinite Well-Being

Dean has long been concerned about pollutants in our environment, with particular emphasis on the food chain. He put this interest in environmental pollution into practice when a good friend developed mercury toxicity from eating fish. Dean realized early on that contamination of the planet was not the path to human vitality and longevity.

Dr. Moyer graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelors of Science and from the University of Rochester with a Doctorate of Medicine. He trained at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles followed by two years of training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He joined the staff at the UCLA School of Medicine rising to the rank of Professor and later became a teaching staff member at the USC Medical School. After USC, he devoted much of his time to the study of the factors that are related to longevity and wellness. This included taking several courses at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena where he learned to prepare delicious and healthy foods.

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Fact or Fiction
Health Topic
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Dr. Robbie Robbins, M.D., D.D.S., FAAOHNS

Robbins Family Farm, San Luis Obispo
Medical Expert and Olive Oil Producer

Dr. Robbins earned DDS and MD degrees at Georgetown University. He then completed a residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, at the University of California Irvine, Long Beach VA, and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and was board certified that same year. He practiced head and neck cancer and anterior base of skull surgery in the Atlanta area until retiring from practice.

Dr. Robbins and his family moved to San Luis Obispo, California upon his retirement, created the Robbins Family Farm, and planted an olive orchard. They specialize in mild fruity oils. Dr. Robbins has practical experience in organic olive farming and all aspects of oil production, gained in his own orchard and by working harvest in Umbria as well as by taking most of the COOC and UC Davis olive oil related courses.

His unique combination of medical knowledge and hands-on olive oil experience make him an invaluable member of our team.

Deborah Rogers

Co-owner and Managing Partner, The Olive Press
Olive Oil Production, Tasting, and Marketing

Deborah Rogers is co-owner and managing partner of The Olive Press – an olive oil mill, tasting room, and retail outlets located in Sonoma and Napa, California. Deborah combined her knowledge of food, olive oil, and agriculture to launch a successful specialty food company which led to her co-founding The Olive Press in 1995. In her role as full time managing partner she oversees the company’s contract olive milling operation which now serves over 100 independent growers. Her role also includes advising small growers on oleo-culture and harvest timing to maximize oil quality, and in maintaining QA milling and packaging standards for their olive oils and olive specialty food lines.

The oils milled by Deborah have received top honors in competitions in California, Italy and Spain. She was recently recognized as a pioneer of the Californian Olive Oil Industry for her contributions in the areas of processing, education, and promotion of Californian Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Deborah is a trained olive oil taster and participates in olive oil sensory analysis for research and quality certification. She was an inaugural member of California’s IOC accredited panel and now assists in industry research efforts by serving on the University of California Cooperative Extension Research Taste Panel. Deborah is a member on the newly formed UC Davis Olive Center Taste Panel. She has also been a long term judge at the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. Recently she served as an international judge for the Olives New Zealand National Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards Competition. Deborah is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She has recently co-authored a refereed paper on the perception of extra virgin olive oil style by producers and experienced tasters.