When people think of Oregon, they typically don’t think of olive trees and olive oil production; that’s been the purview of the Mediterranean and our neighbor to the south, California. Javier Fernandez-Salvador, assistant professor of practice at North Willamette Research and Extension Center, believes Oregon’s growing environment produces exceptional olive oil and he is embarking on research to expand the nascent industry.

Javier is Scott Reed’s guest for this month’s First Monday Update. Learn more about how Javier is responding to and working with the emerging industry. To learn more about the Oregon olive industry visit Olive Growers of Oregon.

Since we’re on the topic of olives, tell us how you use olives in your life by posting a comment on the blog. It might be a garnish for a favorite beverage, an ingredient in a favorite salad, or . . . ?

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14 thoughts on “Growing Oregon’s Olive Industry

  1. It’s great to hear about the olive research, it’s very exciting!

    I use green olives with many meals — rice and beans, pasta, pizza and salad. But mostly we love to eat them neat. My two-year-old daughter loves them : )

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  2. I love showing toddlers that pitted black olives (from a can) fit on their fingertips – giving them alien fingers and a wonderful snack! Personally, I love Kalamata’s in just about everything…salads, pizza, dips, eggs.

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  3. I love green olives!
    I also have the privilege to work in the Polk County office with Neal Bell, our agriculturist, who has made a couple of trips to Europe, to obtain samples of olives, for this project.

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  4. Green and stuffed – pimento, garlic cloves, whatever. Best enjoyed on the deck, with something cold, as the sun sets, chatting with Tina.

    Javier was nicely swagged. Way to rep for OSU! Looking good!

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  5. As a friend once said, “A day without olives is like a day without sunshine.” I use olives almost daily. My daily use oil is a Spanish olive oil made from Arbequina olives. I use it to dress everything from rice salad and pasta, to grilled vegetables, or floating on top of soups for extra flavor complexity. I use olives in braised meat dishes and stews, in salads (albacore, garbanzo beans and olives are excellent!), and in sauces like tappenade. A snack before dinner often contains a mix of olives, always with the pits in them. Very excited to see olives in the PNW!

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    • I am a big fan of Trader Joe olive oil, usually going for the bottle of Spanish oil. I even put a bit on my golden retriever’s dinner bowl each evening. Have you ever done an olive oil tasting? What a difference between varieties/producers! And if you haven’t been to Red Ridge Farms in Dayton to see their olive press, I encourage you to do so.

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  6. Thanks Scott and Javier – a particularly fun topic! Jeff and I have olive oil in our diet daily. We have at least 6 different types of oil within reach, plus more bottles that are infused with interesting flavors! (Yes, our first olive oil tasting in Italy is sooo memorable.)

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