Unique Varieties of Lebanese Olive Trees to Grow in Texas

by | May 24th, 2012


Corners of TimeTM wins silver with unique US-Lebanese olive oil;
 A blend that helps to bridge the gap between the US market and Lebanese village farmers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – Austin, TX – Corners of TimeTM, a gourmet Mediterranean online marketplace, delivers after six years of research and development: The olive trees it introduced are thriving during their two-year USDA quarantine; two US- Lebanese blends it created won silver medals at the LA International Olive Oil Competition.

In collaboration with Novavine, an expert olive and grape nursery located in Sonoma County, Corners of TimeTM will start propagating in the USA the treasured olive trees of Lebanon in June 2012. The superb freshness and flavor of Lebanese olive oil will be available domestically in the future; the Lebanese immigrants in the US will be proud to plant in their backyard cuttings from their Mother tree that has lived for 6,000 years. “The positive results from the Los Angeles tasting are very encouraging for the future of the Lebanese trees and oil. The Baladi profile seems to add some complexity to the Arbequina and offers some great blending opportunities to an oil already widely available in the US,” said Novavine CEO Jay Jensen.

In March of 2012, olive oil expert Nancy Ash helped Corners of TimeTM create two blends of olive oil made with the Lebanese Baladi (one of the seven varieties in quarantine) from quality producer Willani and three varieties popular in California: Arbequina, Koroneiki and Arbosana. Both blends won silver medals at the 2012 Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition.. “I was delightfully surprised by the robust flavor of the Lebanese olive oil from Corners of Time, and felt that the buttery smoothness of a California Arbequina-based oil would be complementary. I am pleased that our efforts won a Silver Medal at the L.A. County Fair competition, and hope that our future old-world/new-world collaborations will result in more awards,” said Nancy Ash.

Through morphological studies and the help of arcenciel, a non-profit organization that aids small Lebanese farmers, seven varieties were discovered among the trees Corners of TimeTM introduced in the US in 2010 and 2011. On April 16, 2012, four were sent to Spain for DNA testing and for matching against the world’s bank of olive trees: The Lebanese olive tree could be discovered as the ‘mother of all olive trees’. More importantly, the four varieties could have very unique characteristics, some of them to naturally resist diseases for having lived thousands of years in harsh environment at high altitude without being sprayed with pesticides.

With much to celebrate, Corners of TimeTM will be hosting a Mother’s Day event in Fredericksburg, Texas on May 13 to plant the first Lebanese olive tree out of quarantine. Guests will have an opportunity to see, taste, hear and talk about the exciting future for Lebanese olive trees grown in the USA and the collaborative efforts between Lebanese mountain villagers, US growers and Corners of TimeTM Mediterranean marketplace.

Prominent Lebanese journalist Carla Henoud said it best: “…To introduce our mythical olive oil in the U.S. market at a time when demand is growing. When Italy and others receive all the awards and when Lebanon remains discreetly silent and timid. To offer, at last, the taste of our quality products which speak of us better than all the media of the world…”

Fredericksburg is the natural environment for Corners of TimeTM, a local Austin company active in its community. Its founder, Farid Rebeiz, an Austin resident since 1976, is an immigrant from Lebanon. He wrote to the olive oil producers in his Mother Country after Lebanon’s 4 medals at the 2012 competition: “On our way to Lebanon, 2 years ago, Jay Jensen (Novavine’s CEO) told me that the best way to promote a variety is to win medals; the blind test when the US beat France was a defining moment for California wine. This is your moment.”

Working with a team of specialists, Corners of TimeTM will strive to continue creating award-winning US-Lebanese olive oil blends and product extensions to offer consumers access to the small artisan producers of the old country, by way of their online marketplace. This will pave the ‘wave’ for Lebanese products to be easily accessible to U.S. consumers while offering Lebanese manufacturers and producers of goods a unique portal to market through sampling ‘corners’ at partner hotels, airports or any unique place around the world. This collaborative effort opens doors for more market growth opportunities for all in the future.

“Sip – Click – Delivered: Taste, select, and have us deliver to friends and family a gift box filled with your choice of award-winning olive oils and other Mediterranean products that make your food delicious.” Irene Farrimond, Director of Sales and Marketing, irene@cornersoftime.com, (512) 474-2223