Food Notes & Tousim 03/09/2012

Following Olive Footprint

The International Olive Council presents a book for discovering cultivation and culture, folklore and history, traditions and uses

The IOC is delighted to announce the publication of Following Olive Footprints (Olea europaea L.). Cultivation and culture, folklore and history, traditions and uses in collaboration with the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA) and the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS).

The culmination of nearly two years’ hard work, this 447-page treasure trove of information has been compiled by 99 authors from 41 countries across the world’s continents. Some of the countries featured – Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Syria, Turkey and Egypt to name but a few – are well known to researchers, scientists and the public at large because they are major olive producers with a prominent track record in olive research. Others like Argentina, Australia, the United States and Peru are relative newcomers to olive growing, but though smaller scale producers, the chapters about them make no less interesting reading. What perhaps makes the book really unique is its coverage of olive production in China, Japan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and countries in the Caucasus region. These chapters will come as a surprise to many people who are quite unaware of the fact that olives have been cultivated there for some time.

Readers will quickly appreciate the documentary content and graphic design of the book and grasp its pivotal theme: the “Olive and People”. A delight to the eye and a voyage of discovery for the mind and soul, it responds to the needs of scientists, researchers and non-specialist readers alike by covering a host of topics for each country (introduction, history, olive area, cultivars, economic and environmental impact, cultural practices, processing methods, traditions and culture, cuisine, popular medicinal and cosmetic uses, tourism, use of olive wood and by-products, …).

Well deserved words of congratulation go to the Board of Editors, without whom the book would never have achieved its final shape. Under the leadership of Mohamed El-Kholy, the editorial team made up of Damiano Avanzato, Juan Caballero, Kostas Chartzoulakis and Facundo Vita Serman, assisted by Enzo Perri, have done a magnificent job of making sure the information in the book is comprehensive, consistent and correct.

The book launch is timed for the 7th International Olive Growing Symposium co-sponsored by the three organisations in San Juan, Argentina, from 25 to 29 September 2012. All registered symposium participants will receive a complimentary copy. From 1 October, anyone interested in purchasing a copy will be able to do so online from the IOC website at a price of 38 euros plus p&p (€19.80 euros within Europe; €36 for the rest of the world).

di S. C.