I love olives, their shape, black or green, and their special saltiness, even olive art. These nifty little fruits pack into an amazing, perfectly smooth, skin. Ancient and symbolic, it takes 35 years for an olive tree to mature.
Lanza’s little Olive book is as trim as the olive, itself, only 116 pages with a comprehensive five-page index. This is in addition to some exciting classic olive recipes and a very helpful by-country olive origin appendix. A fair amount of time spent with this section alone can enable one to engage responsibly in some good “olive speak.” Both Italy and Spain, each have given the world eight different varieties of olives. Beautiful photography delights throughout the book.
Lanza paints an interesting history of olives which figure more prominently as an ingredient in North American culture these days. She then takes us through legendary olive and olive oil rituals, their migration across the world and how olives made the Mediterranean diet so practical.
The most fascinating recipe in the book, for this olive-lover, is her Roasted Black Olives with Orange Zest. Modular experimentation with Olive Paste looks intriguing too.
This book makes an excellent olive gift to yourself or to all olive-loving friends.