07 Oct

How to prepare Olives yourself

My big, fat Greek olive-making tradition harvest predicted to be bad for 2006, so here is how to make them yourself.

By Sophia Markoulakis,

I was weaned on my Greek grandmother’s olives. Her basement was olive central, and the acrid smell of her enterprise permeated the walls, leaving a mark in my memory and in the cavernous room that stores remnants of her legacy.

Tart, cracked green takistes olives, split with a brick, were placed in buckets of water to leach out the bitterness. Gallons of plump and fleshy purple royal olives, slit, soaked and flavored with heavy doses of vinegar and garlic, were also prepared here.

Missionaries introduced the first olive tree to California via Mexico during the late 1700s and named it ‘Mission.’ One hundred years later, other varieties, such as the ‘Manzanillo,’ ‘Sevillano’ and ‘Ascolano,’ were brought to California and have become the state’s most popular table olive varieties.

According to the California Olive Industry’s Web site, 70 to 80 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States come from California. But recent reports suggest that California is prime for an olive oil boom while the table olive industry is suffering from bad weather, overseas competition, decreased packing facilities and the olive fly, which is attracted to the table olive’s large fruit. An article Sept. 14 in the Los Angeles Times reported that the 2006 olive harvest is projected to be the worst the industry has seen in 25 years, and the consumer is likely to feel its effects.

So what’s an olive lover to do?

[Source] Click here to continue and to know how you can make them yourself

4 Responses to “How to prepare Olives yourself”

  1. Moon Over Martinborough Says:

    I love the description of the Greek grandmother’s basement. We’re preparing for our harvest in New Zealand now, and it’s a fabulous process. There is something magical about olives.

  2. heather enochs Says:

    I recently moved into a house that has several olive trees in the back yard i thought wow great i went to eat one and yuck i guess i was not aware that there is a way to prepare these what exactly do you do with an olive? do you cook it? boil it? pickle it? i dont know, well can you help me beacuse mean while i have olives all over my back yard and they are all going to waste help please!

  3. Meryl Seymour Says:

    Please can someone help – I am trying to buy some raw olives to bottle myself – I am in the Eastern Cape in South Africa

  4. kevin Says:

    I agree with moon over martinborough, there is something magical about olives… I have always wanted to grow olives and was lucky enough to see a tree in aldies one day five years ago. I planted it in a tub and have taken it everywhere I moved over the last five years. It is covered in flower at the moment and I am like an expected parent waiting for my babies to grow…

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