February 2011

Monday, 7 February 2011 16:38 by foodmatch
Jan2011 Header
In This Issue
Divina on "Top Chef"
FoodMatch in the News: Mt. Athos Stuffed w/Citrus
New from FoodMatch: Choucroute au Champagne
Kalamata Olive Crop Update
Olives & The Ancient Mariner
Photo of the Month
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Did you see...? 

On this season's premiere episode of Bravo TV's "Top Chef: All Stars," a retail jar of Divina Kalamata olives (Item # 20221) makes a cameo appearance during the quickfire challenge!

top chef


FoodMatch in the News:  2011 Fancy Food Show

Mt. Athos stuffed with Citrus

Hot off the presses, the San Jose Mercury News just published a review of the 2011 Winter Fancy Food Show.  FoodMatch is pleased to announce that we were named one of their "Top 10 Tastes" from this year's show of over 2000 exhibitors.


Jolene Thym, a writer for the Bay Area News Group came across our brand new line, Divina Bar Cocktail Olives.  It was our Mt. Athos Olives Stuffed with Citrus that inspired her to write the following:


"After nibbling through dozens of substandard olives in search of something extraordinary, I bit into a refreshing, surprisingly citrusy olive, hand-stuffed with strips of lemon and orange zest."


Divina Bar premium hand-stuffed cocktail olives are packed in oil-free brine and convenient plastic jars that are ideal for on-premise foodservice operations.  They are available in following varieties:

Item #   Item Name/Count                              Case Pack

D0675  Stuffed with Jalapeno (130-140)       2/3.1 lb

D0673  Stuffed with Citrus (140-150)            2/3.1 lb

D0678  Stuffed with Red Pepper (130-140)  2/3.1 lb


In addition to our Divina Bar Cocktail Olives above, Mt. Athos Olives Stuffed with Citrus can also be found in both foodservice and retail packaging:


Item #   Item Name                                         Case Pack

D0273  Mt. Athos Green Stuffed w/Citrus      2/5 lb

20273  Mt. Athos Green Stuffed w/Citrus       6/7.8 oz


New Product Announcement

André Laurent Choucroute au Champagne

(Sauerkraut cooked with Champagne)

Andre Laurent Sauerkraut

What is Choucroute au Champagne?
FoodMatch's new Choucroute is a delicate and delicious type of sauerkraut made from expertly, super finely sliced cabbages estate-grown in Champagne, France.  Choucroute differs from other sauerkraut with the addition of wine, fat and aromatics.  André Laurent's  traditional Alsatian recipe includes Champagne, pork fat and juniper berries creating a flavor profile with a versatile range of uses and pairings. 

Serving Suggestions:
In addition to serving with sausages, schnitzel and cured meats, André Laurent Choucroute is an ideal ingredient for hot sandwiches, slow cooker dinners and goulash/casseroles.  Its delicate flavor profile also allows it to pair well with chicken and fish.  For recipe ideas from Jacques Pépin, Bon Appetit and more, visit the following source: 

5 Recipes for Choucroute Garnie


Choucroute in the Press:
Time Out Chicago recently posed the question: can a centuries old, traditional Alsatian dish really be "trending?"  The answer seems to be "yes," as the article talks about how some of the hottest chefs in Chicago are using Choucroute on their menus: Time Out Chicago


The Herald Times News (htrnews.com) recently wrote an article entitled "Sauerkraut: the new 'superfood'?"  In this article, Suzanne Weiss talks about rediscovering the benefits of fermented foods for health, wellness and healing.  "Sauerkraut is rich in Vitamin C and was valued by ancient sailors on long voyages because it helped prevent scurvy.  It has been touted as everything from an immune booster to a flu and cancer-fighting superfood."


Choucroute au Champagne & FoodMatch:

Item #:                  90208

Brand:                  André Laurent

Product Name:     Sauerkraut Cooked with Champagne
Origin:                  France

Case Pack:          3/9.04 lb

Shelf Life:            36 months

Please contact your local FoodMatch sales representative or distributor
for information, samples and pricing.

Kalamata Olive Crop Update 

kalamats frost
The effect of frost on Kalamata olives
The 2010 Kalamata Olive crop harvest has been completed and status reports have begun to come in from the field.  There are three main production areas of Kalamata olives in Greece:


1. Western Greece (Arta to Messologhi)

2. Lakonia Region (Sparta)

3. Livanata (Central Greece)


FoodMatch's Kalamata growers are in the Lakonia and Livanata regions.  Here are their regional reports:


Lakonia Crop Update:

  • The region has produced a smaller size crop this year (8,500 tons vs. 12,000 in 2009)
  • There was a frost in December that destroyed approx. 1,500 tons of olives that were waiting to be harvested. 
  • There are fewer smaller caliber olives and in general, the color will be on the lighter side due to weather conditions during the harvest.

Livanata Crop Update:

  • The region, on average, produces 7,000 tons of Kalamata olives.  This year's crop is aporoximately 5,000 tons.
  • The fall season in this region was very wet and the size of the fruit increased. 
  • Olive caliber size and color is more stable in this region as compared to Lakonia

Western Greece:

  • This region produces an average of 15,500 tons of Kalamata olives per year.  The size of the 2010 crop is expected to be approx. 11,000 tons. 
  • This region typically receives a lot of rain which can affect the texture of the olive.  This season was no different and the crop is expected to have texture issues once the olives are fermented.
  • FoodMatch does not work with growers in this region.

What does this mean for FoodMatch?

It isn't all bad news on the Kalamata front.  The 2010 crop was not damaged at all by the olive fly, which was a problem with last year's crop.  Kalamata olive prices began to escalate at the end of 2010 and we expect this year's crop size issue to liklely keep pricing aggressive.  The quality of the olives should remain very high, as FoodMatch has a dedicated team of growers in Greece that will ensure the best for our customers. 

Olives & The Ancient Mariner

olivesWhat was the top food choice of ancient mariners? 
Olives, of course!

The recent discovery of a large amount of olive stones from a 2000+ year old shipwreck has provided researchers with insight into the diet of sailors in the ancient world.  Discovered under the sea of Cyprus' southern coast, researchers are dating the shipwreck to around 400 B.C.E.  The findings noted that "an interesting piece of evidence that gives us information on the conditions under which the sailors of antiquity lived, are the large number of olive pips that were found during excavation, since these pips must have been part of the crew's food supply."  In addition to olive consumption, ancient mariners were also known to use olive oil as a perfume base.  Additionally, it was used to fuel copper furnaces.

A picture is worth a thousand words...and even more years!

Olive Harvest - Then and Now
Thank you for reading this edition of FoodMatch Focus.
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