Dear New York Times, only the title is a pity
The strip that you've posted on 2014/01/24 is accurate and it expresses the reality. Inside the olive oil you are talking about there is nothing of Italy, absolutely nothing , and I'll explain
The title is a pity.... OF ITALIAN OLIVE OIL .
Inside the olive oil you are talking about THERE IS NOTHING OF ITALY, absolutely nothing , and I'll explain .
1 Italian olive oil does not need to do any triangulation, it is produced inside Italy and from there goes to the internal market and , in small part , to the international markets, directly and without making the rounds of the strip.
2, the olive oil you are talking about, and you tell it by yourself , is not Italian one but it is a stock of about 350,000 tons coming from Spain, North Africa, Greece Middle East, etc. mainly produced by foreign cultivars such as Picual , Hojiblanca , but also by Chemlali of Sfax , Koroneiki, Ayvalik, Souri , that have nothing to do with Italy. These plants do not grow in Italy , but are grown abroad crops, in so‐called "Superintensive" with 2000 trees / ha, bush shaped , ie as if the trees were so many Christmas trees in a row, where the sun cannot penetrate and cannot' give up energy and where the olives, harvested with
machines, invented in France to collect the apples, give olive oils with a maximum of 70‐100 mg / kg of total polyphenols , actually not olive oils but "poor olive oils ."
3 in Italy, "superintensive " crops do not practically exist ; we gather by hand or with rakes , in olive crop groves with 200 trees / ha (10 times less ), in polyconic shape , where the branches of the tree are structured as an inverted umbrella, to collect, as in a perfect parabola , all the energy of the sun in order to produce olive oils that reach 1000 mg / kg of total polyphenols.
4 brands that bottle this kind of olive oil, you are talking about ARE NOT ITALIAN AT ALL. I'll give you the example of two of the s most important brands of the market. Carapelli is not Italian since over 25 years , now is owned by the Spanish group Deoleo SA , the former SOS Corporación Alimentaria SA and before that former Grupo SOS Cuetara by the Salazar Brothers , which went in bankrupt and was taken over by a group of Spanish ‐ Basque banks. But it is not Italian since decades, even another famous brand, Bertolli , also owned by the Spanish group Deoleo SA , always former SOS Corporación Alimentaria SA , brand acquired from Unilever, which it does not seem to me to be an Italian group, but rather an Anglo‐Dutch multinational CO..
Let me give you some information about Deoleo SA , also for the benefit of your readers. Deoleo S.A. is based in Madrid . Founded in 1916 as Arana Timber Company , Inc. , invoices more then 1.0 billion euros and it is present in more than 100 countries. It has 14 subsidiaries and 24 factories spread across five continents. Today it is the No. 1 in the World in marketing packaged olive oil (300,000 tons in 2006). The Italian production is 450,000 tons, just think about these figures . It dominates the olive oil market in Spain,
Portugal , Italy and Netherlands ( market share of 50%) and 22 % of worldwide market with the leadership of its brands in Europe , USA, Asia and Oceania . Between 2005 and 2006 he acquired in Italy , olive oil brands such as Carapelli and Sasso , already in foreign hands sinvce 20 years. In 2008 it acquired from Unilever brands as Bertolli , Maya and San Giorgio . Its are brands as Carbonell, Koipe and Friol .
So coming back to your title " ITALIAN OLIVE OIL" what are we talking about? What has Italy to do with the matter here ? The companies you are talking about in the your article are definitively SPANISH and ANGLO‐DANISH .
If you allow me , the right title would have been “THE OLIVE OIL BOTTLERS SUICIDE”, this would have done justice to your readers and would have preserved the image of the true Italian olive oil .
last year, exactly on April 12th, 2013 , you interviewed me at The International Culinary Center, 462 Broadway, New York, NY 10013 and you wrote about me , thanking me for having protected the Nyorkers by defective olive oils, presented at NYIOOC ( New York Int ' Olive Oil Competition ) , an olive oil competition that I invented , of which I was the Panel Leader, in order to offer the best of the olive oil World to NY City.
would you like to know how it ended ? The NYIOOC organizer, accepted the sponsorship of a bottler and after having lobbied me to be less rigid in evaluating ,he confirmed the previous bottler sponsorship also for 2014. Me and my best olive oil tasters could not accept the coexistence with those who are under investigation for fraud and we could not accept further pressures to reward defective olive oils, and then we left the competition.
Would you like to know who replaced me into the panel group ? The organizer of an event again sponsored by non‐ Italian olive oil bottlers. This happens in New York not in Milan , my house, not in Rome, the capital of Italy , not in Florence , the capital of Italian olive oil , no, it happens in NY City by the hands of a few Americans , much more interested in the business that in protecting NY consumers from frauds . And so ,
once again , why to drag in Italy when the faults are alien to my country ?
maybe you should apologize to the ITALIANS , but I think that the most Prestigious Italian Olive Oil makers will forgive you for the great misconception that you have naively fallen. The Italian Manufacturers will continue to collect their olives by hand, to make “Ferrari‐like olive oil" , delicious and unique , as then also many other international manufacturers make. But there is one thing you should do, in respect of your readers : you should publish this my letter
But Dear NYT , you could do another thing , much more disruptive and this is MY CHALLENGE : you should make your personal international olive oil competition.
Title: THE NEW YORK TIMES TRUE OLIVE OIL COMPETITION ‐ NYTsTOOC 2015
Me and my best int’l olive oil tasters will organize it for you and we would be happy to promote it around the world and at the end instead writing of "suicide" you could write of "Risorgimento of Olive Oil ."
It once already happened when U.S. has given impetus to the Olive Oil consumption with the great american doctor Ancel Keys , silver medal for civil Italian valor, this time it could be your big chance to acquire an important role in the cardiovascular diseases prevention and treatment of Americans, through the promotion of a proper diet with olive oil. About the defective olive oils , such as rancid ones , as well as being outside the law (an extra virgin must not have any defects ) rancid olive oil are also bad for health, as the EU has enacted the law EC 432/2012 ( ... Permitted health claims on food products ) that says: the olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress. I remind you that the words "oxidative stress" = " stress from rancidity ."Think about it, you should only advertise the competition to your readers and give us the physical space . I'm sure it also would be at "zero" costs for you
A dear friend of mine, Steven Jenkins, attentive and admirer expert of superb Italian olive oils , will personally bring you this my article, together with a copy of my book :
“MONOCULTIVAR OLIVE OIL , the perfect one” http://en.calameo.co/read/00036467304d5dfaa54ac, so you can have my ironic and technical view of the olive oil world . It 's not an alternative to the Tom Muller’s Extravirginity, it is not even a novel, but a book written with scientific unassailable rigor, illustrated to explain in simple and clear way to the consumer the untold Truths about olive oil.
Thank you for your attention and I hope you will accept my challenge ..