Olives | Different types of Olives

Olives are the small oval fruit of the olive tree, widely cultivated in Mediterranean regions. The fruit ripens from green to black; the fleshy pulp, enclosing an oval stone (pit), is the source of olive oil; and the whole fruit, stoned (pitted) or stuffed, is used in cookery as a flavouring, ingredient, or hors d’oeuvre.

In Greek mythology

Pallas Athene struck the Acropolis with her spear and out sprang the olive tree; she then taught men how to cultivate it and make use of its fruits. The Romans, too, venerated the olive tree. Throughout ancient times, both olives and olive oil were essential in nutrition and food preparation.

History of Olives

  • The Romans took the olive tree to all the Mediterranean countries, together with the techniques of oil extraction and the preparation of table olives.
  • It continues to be widely grown in all countries of the Mediterranean basin, where the fruity taste of the Olive is very apparent in the cooking.
  • Spain is the leading producer Of table olives, followed by Turkey, Greece and Morocco. Small quantities are also produced in Italy, Portugal and in southern France.
  • The olive tree was introduced into Latin America in the 16th century and from there into California in the 19th century. California is now an important producer of table olives.

California is now an important producer of table olives.

Olives have a very bitter taste and are not edible in the raw state.
The bitterness must be removed in a curing process before the olives can be eaten.
There are two basic types of table olive,
*Green and *Black (ripe).

Table olives are an ingredient of many hors d'oeuvre and Mediterranean dishes, including:
*Mezze from Greece
*Tapas (is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine).
*Duck daubes(a stew of meat, typically beef, braised slowly in wine and flavouring with duck fat).
*Paupiettes (a long, thin slice of fish or meat, rolled and stuffed with a filling).

GREEN OLIVES: These are gathered before they are ripe, treated to remove the bitter taste, then rinsed and pickled in brine.

One of the green olives in France is :

Picholine olives from the Gard region, Corsica and the Bouches-du-Rhone.

Lucques olives from the Hérault.

Salonenque olives from the Bouches-duRhöne.

• BLACK OLIVES: These are harvested when fully ripe; they are not treated with an alkali but are pickled in brine and then sometimes in oil.

Two of the best varieties grown in France are the

Nyons from the Dröme Vaucluse

Cailletier from around  Nice and the Riviera di Ponente

How Green Olives are prepared

  • Green olives in water are repeatedly soaked in water to remove the bitterness; they have a strong fruity taste, but retain a slight bitterness. Green olives are often prepared stuffed with :
  • Anchovies,
  • Sweet (bell) peppers,
  • Pimiento (pepper)
  • Almonds.

How Black Olives are prepared

  • Black olives pickled in wine vinegar (from Kalamata in Greece) are treated with brine mixed with oil and vinegar.
  • Black olives preserved dry in salt have a good fruity, slightly bitter taste, but do not keep well.
  • The black olives from Morocco, washed and dried in the sun, are lightly salted, then packaged or barreled in oil. Finally, black olives can simply be dried in the sun

Olives are also in many other ways. ‘Cracked’ green olives, called cachado, are pickled in brine seasoned with herbs and spices

Olives lose some of their black colour during this process and so they are dyed with ferrous gluconate

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  1. Very good👍

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