martes, 19 de abril de 2011


Spanish Missionaries brought the olive tree to North America in the 1700's. The first olive trees were planted in California at the San Diego Mission by Franciscan monks in 1769. The trees were planted throughout California with the intention of producing oil, but the lower cost European olive oils won out. In the late 1800's, a housewife, Freda Ehmann and her son, Edwin began experimenting with new ways to market the olive, and she found success with the California style ripe black olives she produced.
California farmers grow dozens of different olive types. The five most important California table-olive varieties are the Manzanillo, Sevillano, Mission, Ascolano and Barouni. The Manzanillo represents the most acreage, while the Sevillano and Ascolano are valued for their larger olive size. Olive-oil producers have planted large numbers of the Arbequina, Arbosana, Koroneiki, Frantoio, Mission, Manzanillo and Leccino varieties.

Commercial olive farming in California began in the late 1800s, primarily in the valleys of Central and Northern California. Those early olive crops went into olive-oil production but, in the early 1900s, the industry shifted, as canning technology resulted in higher returns for table olives than for oil. Today, 90 percent of California's olive production is for canned olives, with only 10 percent crushed for oil. This is just the opposite of Spain, the world's leading olive producer, which grows 90 percent of its olive crop for oil and only 10 percent for cured olive products.
Mission variety of Californian olives
California is the only state in USA producing a commercially significant crop of olives. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States come from California. While the olive is an important specialty crop for California, the state's olive industry is dwarfed by that of Spain. For example, a 2002 Census of Agriculture indicated that California had 39,591 acres of olives grown on 1,549 farms, while Spain had more than 5.6 million acres of olives grown by 571,150 producers.

Sliced ripe olives (P. Alonso)

During the past 25 years, health-conscious consumers have led a revival in olive oil as a flavorful alternative to vegetable oils. Demand for olive oil has doubled during the past 10 years. California now produces about 400,000 gallons of olive oil annually.
The Californian style of olives as Black olives is becoming one of most importants styles to produce large amount of olives, increassing day by day the interest and the capacity of consumption arround the world. Most of them are processed as Pitted and Sliced types.

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