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Philosophy Foods Co-Founder David Yourd Talks Natural Curing, Losada Olives, and O-Med Olive Oils

Philosophy Foods Co-Founder David Yourd Talks Natural Curing, Losada Olives, and O-Med Olive Oils

Monday, July 24th, 2017

During last month’s IDDBA17 Conference and Expo in Anaheim, California, I chanced upon Philosophy Foods and met its founders Karrie Kimble and David Yourd. As brand representatives of Losada and O-Med, Spanish producers of olives and olive oils, respectively, Philosophy Foods is committed to educating consumers in the United States and expanding the variety of artisan foods to which consumers in the states have access.

Their friendliness, wealth of knowledge, and willingness to share immediately disarmed me. But it was their products—heirloom varieties of olives and oils produced using a unique natural brining process—that won me over.

David Yourd, Co-Founder, Philosophy Foods“Under third generation owner Luis Losada, they have taken the approach of creating an artisan olive brand with natural bine curing and unique heirloom varieties otherwise not represented in the U.S. Thus, creating an almost new category of Spanish olives available to U.S. consumers,” David explains.

While many growers in Spain outsource curing and packing to large-scale processors and co-packers, David tells me, Losada is committed to overseeing its own processes.

“Spain produces 35 percent of the world’s table olives, far ahead of any other country in the world, and that has created a large infrastructure in which most producers in Spain are concentrated on the commodity market. It is rare to find an olive exporter that represents the farm to table movement such as Losada,” David notes. “40 percent of our olives have been grown by us, and 100 percent have been cured in house. Losada covers all aspects of production from farming to curing, packing, and even importing. Essentially there is nobody in between the buyer and the tree…that is how we want it.”

Losada artisan olives and O-Med olive oil on display

And Losada’s focus on “natural brine curing” and cultivating heirloom varieties not otherwise available in the U.S. has primed the company to take advantage of consumer trends toward farm-to-fork eating experiences and artisanal, clean label products. 

So, I have to ask: What exactly is natural brine curing, and how is Losada’s approach distinct from others in the industry?

“Natural brine curing is the debittering of olives in a solution of just salt and water—contrary to the conventional way of curing of green olives in Spain, which is typically done with lye (caustic soda),” David says, noting that, while Losada produces by both methods, Philosophy Foods’ focus is on promoting naturally cured olives that the company feels best represent the nuances of the fruit rather than the curing agents involved.

Philosophy Foods is a brand representative of Losada and O-Med

And, though Losada produces a variety of more traditional olives as well, David tells me that the company is currently proud to offer three varieties of olive that are not extensively exported to the U.S., among them:

  • Cornicabra: A variety usually used in olive oil production but also very popular as a table olive in regions of cultivation, this olive is halfway through the maturation process, producing a beautiful color range from pale pink to dark purple. Oval-shaped with a small horn on one side, “cornicabra” means “the goat’s horn,” and the olive’s flavor is very approachable with winey notes and a sweet finish.
  • Aloreña: Cracked before curing to facilitates fermentation, this olive is cured in a traditional natural brine made of water and salt. The crack and firm texture of this olive also make it fitting for custom marinades. The only olive from Spain with a D.O.—Denomination of Origin—the aloreña’s texture has a crunchy outside with a butter inside, filled with savory, nutty, cashew-like flavors.
  • Zorzalena: Harvested in the middle of their maturation process, zoraleñas are a striking deep olive green color with deep earthy flavors reminiscent of dark chocolate, truffles, and coffee. The variety comes from a notably vigorous olive tree, and for decades it has been customary to graft weaker varieties to zorzaleñas’ strong roots; because of this process, though, zorzaleña olive trees began to disappear and be underutilized for production.

In addition to Losada olives, Philosophy Foods is also engaged in bringing O-Med olive oils and vinegars—award-winning products used by notable chefs like David Chang, Ignacio Matos, and Ludo Lefebvre—to American kitchens. 

For more on this and other outstanding providers in our industry, stay tuned to Deli Market News.

Philosophy Foods

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In This Story

Philosophy Foods provides national representation for artisan food producers. We aim to build a platform in which like-minded, complimentary producers can share the costs, experience and...

O-Med Extra Virgin Olive oil was selected of one of the best olive oil worldwide by the magazine Feinschmecker.

Cultivo, transformación y comercialización de aceitunas de mesa desde 1961.

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