Monday, November 26, 2018
Olives, olives, olives. Love them or hate them. They often come stuffed with a pimento and come in various colors of green, black, or even a bit purple such as with Greek Kalamata olives. They are great for pairing with salads and perfect on pizza. Howerver they often have a lot of salt. The oil is often toted as healthy and uses in a lot of Mediterranean diets.
Did you know that most olives are harvest when they are green or purplish? If you see black olives in cans those are actually artificially black in many cases.
Olives are usually short tree plants and only about six naturally occurring subspecies of the olive. Olives have been around for millions of years and recently we’ve been eating them for a few thousand years. Most of the olives came to America from the Spanish people.
The oil has been thought to symbolize abundance and glory and peace probably due to its color as well. It has been used in many ancient cultures including Israel, Greece and Rome.
Most olives have been cured and fermented to make them tasty and not so bitter. They are naturally bitter. It removes oleuropein which is the natural bitter component. Often to cure olives a brine of salt or lye is added and some may add yeast. Techniques will use natural bacteria already found on the olive to create lactic acid for preservation. In fact most olives use lye and then get washed to remove the brine and lye. There are techniques that don’t involve fermentation or very little and that is salt-cured or California type olives.
Most olives grow great around light soil in hot sunny weather and near limestone. Usually olives are harvested around fall and winter.
The main nutrition of olives is vitamin E, sodium and fat. Also olives pollen is known to cause allergies.
Do you like the taste of olives?