Olives, the Ingredient
Marty Martindale

Olives are wonderful, salty accents. They are a fruit which is composed of 20% oil. olivesThey are black, or they are many shades of green, they come with pits, they come without pits, they grow large and they also grow to be small. See DeLallo’s Olive Encyclopedia. We deep-fry them, stuff them, squeeze them for their oil, chop into tapenade, float them in ‘tinis or pierce ‘em with toothpicks and just chomp on them. However, thanks to Middle Eastern recipes, we now see more olives worked in as an ingredient into delicious savory dishes.  

Olives, a Mediterranean food, appeared in history as far back as 8,000 years ago. Their trees can produce when they are 2,000 years old.

Olives are also considered native to Africa and Asia. The early Spaniards are credited with introducing olives into the New World probably into Mexico, then up into California where they are also grown.

All olives are rich in iron, copper and fiber.

Olives must be cured after picking in lye or a salty brine. Some green olives are green, because they are picked before ripeness; others are a specie which starts and remains green.   Continue reading