• Greece

    The Lady of Aetolia

    “The #olive tree is surely the richest gift of heaven.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Ronaldson, 1813. My name is George Coundoussias. I grew up in the village of Gavalou in the region of Aetolia, #Greece. I’ve lived in the U.S. since 1978, but my family still lives in the town where I was born. I go back at least twice a year to visit family and take care of the olive groves that we have owned for generations. When I was growing up in Gavalou, there was an old, gnarled olive tree in the center of town. It belonged to a family named Malavetas. The entire neighborhood used this…

  • Business

    Italian Farmers Propose Anti-Fraud Seal for EVOO

    The new #labeling system, consisting of a numbered seal with a QR code located on the neck of the bottle, is intended to defend Made in Italy production from fraud which is estimated to cost the #olive oil industry €1.5 billion per year. The trade associations and the State Mint are now waiting for the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to officially validate the label.   “Thanks to the experience gained over the years in the field of security printing integrated with ICT systems,” Paolo Aielli, CEO of the State Mint and Polygraphic Institute said, “we developed this effective system of…

  • Recipe

    EXTENDING “THE OLIVE BRANCH’ FOR A NEW BEGINNING

    The olive tree is often referenced when describing a successful or safe outcome of a challenging endeavor. The safe return of Odysseus to Ithaca, under the watchful eye of the goddess Athena, is placed under the sign of the olive tree. In song V of the Odyssey, Calypso’s “olive-handle ax” becomes a marvelous tool for the weary and tired sailor who fells twenty trees to build what Homer, in a great understatement, calls a “raft”. On Scheria Island he makes a bed under two olive trees, “one wild, one planted”…”and covered himself up”. Finally Odysseus gouges the eye of Polyphemus the Cyclops with “a club of green olivewood hardened by…

  • bun
    Continental,  Greece

    Fall Travels to the Aetolia Region of Greece

    Greece is a wonderful place to visit especially in the fall, during September when the weather is warm enough to enjoy the beaches and not quite so hot that you can enjoy the many walking tours of monuments. An added bonus to the fall visits in Greece is that September is the perfect month to enjoy all of the scrumptious harvest bounties. Large, luscious fruits adorn the trees throughout the countryside with a warm, sweet aroma that you will not soon forget. Especially memorable are the figs which can easily be twice the size of brown turkey figs. It is best to pick the figs right off the tree in…

  • hummus with roasted red peppers
    Recipe

    Hummus with Roasted Red Peppers

    Here’s the refreshing sweet flavor of hummus with roasted red peppers that not only enhance the hummus flavor, but adds a colorful topping to add to your table. You can enjoy this dish summer or winter with your favorite chips or toasted pita bread wedges. For this recipe you will need: 1 (20 oz) can + 1 (7 oz) can chickpeas, drained ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Oreno Hellenic Ladi preferred) 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice is best, but there’s always the bottled juice as second choice 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoon tahini (sesame seed paste in a jar) 4 tablespoons roasted red…