Olive Oil and Its Substitutes

Jan 24, 2013 by

Olive Oil and Its Substitutes¬† by L. Tolman was originally published in 1903. Very interesting read on the olive oil trade in early 1900’s.

From the introduction:

“Nearly the entire amount of olive oil used in this country comes from Italy, France, and California. The average annual total importation for the ten years next preceding 1901 was 803,716 gallons. Of this amount Franco sent us annually an average of 257,586 gallons and Italy 498,493 gallons. There are no means of ascertaining the amount produced in California, but it is probably a great deal less than the amount imported, as the California oil is scarcely known in the eastern markets, and is by no means the only oil offered on the western markets.

Evidence of this is the fact that of 68 samples of commercial oils bought outside of California but two were California oils. On the other hand, of 29 samples of commercial oils bought in California 13 were produced in California, 4 were French oils, and 12 were Italian oils. In 1897 Elwood Cooper a reported 2,500,000 olive trees in California capable of producing, besides dried and pickled olives, 2,000,000 gallons of oil. This amount, however, is greatly in excess of the present production, owing to the fact that, as shown later, both the French and Italian oils can be imported cheaper than the actual cost of production of the California product. The above figures are of interest in showing that California is capable of producing the entire amount of olive oil consumed in this country. ”


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