Mission olive

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Mission
Olive (Olea europaea)
Color of the ripe fruit Green
Also called California Mission
Origin California
Hazards Cycloconium oleaginum fungus
Pseudomonas savastanoi bacterium
Use Oil and table
Oil content 21.8%

The Mission olive is a cultivar of olive native to California, developed by Spanish missions along El Camino Real in the late 1700s.[1] The Mission olive has been included in the Ark of Taste, an international catalog of endangered heritage foods maintained by the Slow Food movement.[2] It is also the only American olive cultivar listed by the International Olive Council in its World Catalogue of Olive Varieties.[1] Although native to the United States, Mission olives are also used by South African olive oil producers.[3]

Description[edit]

Mission trees can reach heights of 40 and 50 feet (12 and 15 m).[4] They produce small fruit, typically of around 4.1 grams (0.14 oz). It has the lowest flesh-to-pit ratio (6.5:1) and greatest cold resistance of any commercial cultivar in California. Mission olives are harvested for table use from late October through November; for oil production, they are harvested between mid-December and February. They are susceptible to peacock spot, a disease caused by the fungus Cycloconium oleaginum, and olive knot, a disease caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas savastanoi.[5]

Uses[edit]

Mission olives are one of five cultivars (along with Ascolano, Barouuni, Manzanillo, and Sevillano) commercially viable in California for production as table olives.[6] They have also been used in the production of olive oil since the days of the Spanish missions.[7]

Prevalence[edit]

In 1992, the Mission cultivar represented just over eight percent of California's overall olive acreage.[8] Mission olives were dominant until 1875, when Andalusian immigrants introduced the Manzanillo cultivar; subsequent introductions further reduced the percentage of Mission trees in California.[9] After Manzanillo and Sevillano, however, it remains one of the more common cultivars in the state.[10] The Oroville district in Butte County is a major Mission producer.[11]

Origin[edit]

Olive trees were first brought to California by the Franciscan mission of San Diego de Alcalá; olive production likely began in earnest within the first two decades of the mission. The original trees suffered after the secularization of the missions, though pioneers cultivated new trees from their cuttings, leading to the distinct Mission cultivar.[7]

Though researchers at the University of Córdoba presumed the Mission olive to be of Spanish origin, they were unable to establish its relationship with any of 700 Spanish cultivars.[2] Recent DNA testing in California suggests the Mission olive could be related to Picholine Marocaine, a Moroccan cultivar.[1] Spanish settlers likely brought what would become the Mission trees to Mexico first.[4][9][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Scarafia, Liliana (18 October 2012). "Are Mission Olives Actually Picholine Marocaine?". The Olive Oil Times. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Ark of Taste: California Mission Olive". Slow Food USA. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mission Olive Oils - Olive Oil Guide". The Olive Oil Times. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sutter, Ellen G. (1994). "Olive cultivars and propagation". In Ferguson, Louise; Sibbett, G. Steven; Martin, George C. Olive Production Manual. Oakland, CA: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. p. 24. ISBN 1879906155. OCLC 30312488. 
  5. ^ Sutter, Ellen G. (1994). "Olive cultivars and propagation". In Ferguson, Louise; Sibbett, G. Steven; Martin, George C. Olive Production Manual. Oakland, CA: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. p. 25. ISBN 1879906155. OCLC 30312488. 
  6. ^ Sutter, Ellen G. (1994). "Olive cultivars and propagation". In Ferguson, Louise; Sibbett, G. Steven; Martin, George C. Olive Production Manual. Oakland, CA: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. p. 23. ISBN 1879906155. OCLC 30312488. 
  7. ^ a b Connell, Joseph H. (1994). "History and scope of the olive industry". In Ferguson, Louise; Sibbett, G. Steven; Martin, George C. Olive Production Manual. Oakland, CA: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. p. 3. ISBN 1879906155. OCLC 30312488. 
  8. ^ Connell, Joseph H. (1994). "History and scope of the olive industry". In Ferguson, Louise; Sibbett, G. Steven; Martin, George C. Olive Production Manual. Oakland, CA: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. p. 7. ISBN 1879906155. OCLC 30312488. 
  9. ^ a b Rosenblum, Mort (1996). Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 289. ISBN 0865475032. OCLC 34782656. 
  10. ^ Taylor, Judith M. (2000). The Olive in California: History of an Immigrant Tree. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. p. 104. ISBN 1580081312. OCLC 42619726. 
  11. ^ Connell, Joseph H. (1994). "History and scope of the olive industry". In Ferguson, Louise; Sibbett, G. Steven; Martin, George C. Olive Production Manual. Oakland, CA: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. p. 6. ISBN 1879906155. OCLC 30312488. 
  12. ^ Taylor, Judith M. (2000). The Olive in California: History of an Immigrant Tree. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. p. 11. ISBN 1580081312. OCLC 42619726.