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TOPIC: olive oil

In The News

More Airstrikes On Gazan Hospitals, Outsider Milei Wins In Argentina, Olive Oil Bandits

👋 Dumela!*

Welcome to Monday, where Gaza’s Indonesian hospital is targeted by Israeli airstrikes while premature babies are evacuated from the al-Shifa hospital, far-right candidate Javier Milei gets elected as Argentina’s new president, and Spain takes drastic measures to combat olive oil shoplifting. Meanwhile, Milan-based daily La Stampa has an interview with Omar Di Felice, the Italian “extreme cyclist” as he sets off to cover 963 miles of Antarctic ground in winter on his own.

[*Tswana, Botswana and South Africa]

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Butter Beware, Olive Oil Is Conquering French Kitchens

Spanish, Italian, Greek, Provençal: in the land of butter and cream, olive oil is all the rage! Buoyed by the wave of the Mediterranean diet, demand has soared in recent years. But production is threatened by drought in Spain, the world's leading producer.

PARIS — It's more than just a fat. Nor even a seasoning or condiment. For its growing number of aficionados, olive oil is an object of desire, if not of worship.

"It's all anyone around me ever talks about," laughs Emmanuelle Dechelette, a former public relations professional turned olive oil sommelier. "My friends, my husband's friends, everyone consults me or asks me if I can find them this or that particular cuvée. Sometimes I feel like a 'drug dealer.'"

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After completing a diploma course in New York, in 2016 Emmanuelle created an international competition, Olio Nuovo Days , which has gradually established itself as one of the benchmarks. Producers flock from all over the world to take part, from France, Spain, Sicily, Greece, Tunisia and Lebanon, as well as Japan, Chile, Brazil and South Africa.

"Right now, without my oil La Couvée, produced in Slovenia and 2023 champion for the Northern Hemisphere, I feel like I couldn't live," says the sommelier, who likes to savor this juice simply, on a toasted baguette, a fine tomato or with fresh goat's cheese. For her, if a dish isn't flavored with olive oil, it's missing something. The elegant Dechellette consumes it without moderation: "When you say olive oil, you mean olive, not oil. It's a fruit, so it's not fatty!”

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Italian Coffee, Full Circle: Starbucks Marks Five Years In Italy

It has been five years since Starbucks first opened in Milan, where the company's CEO first got the idea that the world wanted quality coffee. Today they set their sights not on retreat but expansion. The path ahead in this mecca for "caffé" for the Seattle-based coffee shop is a rosy one.

MILAN — It's been five years since Starbucks' debut in Italy, and there is still a line to enter the Reserve Roastery. Inside the former Post Office building in Milan, the brand is celebrating an important anniversary, which tastes like 100% Arabica coffee, and a bet won: they have managed to sell coffee to Italians. Not just any coffee, but a flat white.

This is perhaps the greatest achievement in the company's partnership with the Percassi Group, which is responsible for developing a network that will reach 37 or 38 stores by the end of the year (the next eagerly awaited stop: Naples).

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In the meantime, to celebrate, a rich schedule of events has kicked off (until Oct. 1st). On the program are tastings, workshops, blues concerts and events during Milan Fashion Week. It's all organized to give an idea of the connection achieved between Italy and the American brand.

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Zelensky Visits Breached Dam Area, Australia Bans Nazi Signs, Crocodile Gets Self Pregnant

👋 Сайн уу*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits flood-hit Kherson, Australia announces a national ban on Nazi symbols, and a crocodile is found to have made herself pregnant. Meanwhile, we look at the increase of food counterfeiting around the world, from fake honey in Germany to Canada’s fish laundering.

[*Sain uu - Mongolian]

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food / travel
Marine Béguin

Bogus Honey, Olive Oil Remix: How Fraudulent Foods Spread Around The World

What you have in your plate isn't always what you think it is. As food counterfeiting increases in the food industry and in our daily lives, some products are more likely to be "fake", and it's up to consumers to be careful.

All that glitters isn't gold – and all that looks yummy isn't necessarily the real deal.

Food fraud or food counterfeiting is a growing concern in the food industry. The practice of substituting or adulterating food products for cheaper, lower quality or even harmful ingredients not only deceives consumers but can pose serious health risks.

Here's an international look at some of the most widespread fake foods – from faux olive oil to counterfeit seafood and even fraudulent honey.

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food / travel
Pierre de Gasquet

Puglia Postcard: Ground Zero Of Italy's Olive Tree Disease Disaster

The bacterium Xylella has arrived in Italy, infecting thousands of olive trees in a stretch of the southeastern peninsula. Europe is powerless, with the region's entire economy at risk.

ALLISTE — The so-called "Giant of Alliste" suddenly appears at the bend of a path. This imposing olive tree is 32-feet-high with a base of twisted trunks measuring 25 feet in circumference. It is said to be 1,500 years old.

Its shadow appears like a sleeping pachyderm, cast onto the Italian brown earth. But at the top of the tree, several branches appear stunted and desiccated, and have lost their colors. "Have you heard the news?" a local police officer Francesco Manfreda mutters. "The Giant is dying."

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Spain's Crisis Hits The Stomach: Steady Drop In Food Spending



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Argentina's Olive Producers Beg For Bailout

CLARIN (Argentina)


BUENOS AIRES - Olives and its oil have been one of Argentina’s boom industries in recent years, but farmers are now begging the government for help to stay afloat, Clarin reports.

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