Saturday, October 22, 2011

Man of Vision

Time magazine ran an appreciative portrait of Steve Jobs:
Walter Isaacson:
"Something was either "the best thing ever" or it totally sucked. He could taste two avocados, indistinguishable to ordinary mortals, and declare one of them the greatest ever harvested and the other inedible." 
But what I think is the issue at hand is Jobs's sense of discernment.
Or this from a 2005 Stanford commencement speech:
" Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what your truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Olive Oil

Olive harvest from a thousand years old olive tree in Shepharam Israel 1998 photograph by S.L. Abrahmov

As someone who is very interested in olive culture I found this article in the NYT quite captivating. What is more interesting is this previous article (titled Slippery Business)  on the Italian oil industry. In a way this article portrays more than shady dealing with olive oil but also to a deep rooted  social problems.  Basing an opinion on one article is risky, apparently this olive oil fraud continues in Italy as reported here.  Which raises the question why buy Italian olive oil in the first place when so much more credible sources exist today. 

Currently in Israel there are many producers of world class extra virgin olive oil. The best of them use the intensive method described in the NYT article and the secret behind the success of these growers that they adopted and adapted growing approaches and harvest of grapes and wines to those of olive growing and oil production. Rated in 2011 as best Israeli quality producer is Eretz Gshur  which was also  rated as one of the best olive oil in the world.  A very successful newcomers are the olive oils of Kibbutz Magal.

Which brought me further to this reflection about quality olive oil. In my visits to Crete, I have discovered that in actuality they produce without any special efforts superior olive oil which is characterized by the low acidity rating of 0.3% ( normal grade for Extra Virgins is 0.5%). The small size Koroneiki olives in the Island and probably climate and soil are probably the main factors for such olive oil quality.

Koroneiki olives Sfinari Crete 2009
And here is the big question: What is the reason that Cretan olive oil has such a modest international presence? 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Aqaba 2011

Aqaba is an interesting city with wide landscaped lanes and a feeling of an oasis due to the vast number of date palms planted all around the city. It is much more spacious than any other city in Jordan and offers a quick access to Wadi Rum. Jordanians were friendly and helpful especially in the border crossing to Eilat.