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Factors to Consider When Buying Olives

Every time you buy green olives online, it is best to always think outside the can or jar, and always ensure that you store these in brine. Here are other pointers to remember before you place that order:

Olives Across the Globe

Try to think of and look at olives as the fruits they are. These fruits that are native to the Mediterranean and date as far back as the biblical times start out green on the trees. Once they ripen, they develop flavor and color.

The major olive-growing countries in the world are lush and dream-vacation locales, including France, Greece, Italy, Morocco, and Spain. Not unexpectedly, almost all the crop in the United States comes from California, which has a dry and warm climate favorable for growing olives.

The season for olive runs from September to December and even into January from time to time.

Handpicked is Better Even If Machine-harvesting is Popular

Some varieties of olives are picked while still young and green. This also applies to most supermarket olives or those sold in cans. These olives turn black during processing.

Machines are also used to harvest many commercial olives, which is a cost-effective method that runs based on the premise that olives ripen on the tree at the same rate. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

This is why the highest-quality olives are those that are picked, sorted, and stuffed by hand. As expected, you will pay more for these type of olives.

What’s the Cure?

You cannot really eat raw olives because these are too bitter due to the compound present in them known as oleuropin. This is why curing olives is a must.

Lye-curing is the most popular method used. Olives picked either fully mature or green are soak in a lye solution followed by a saltwater brine. The process helps draw out the bitterness and trigger fermentation. Aside from this, you will also get that briny, lactic acid taste to the olives as well.

A number of olives are also lightly cured in lye before washing them in water. When left unfermented, you can get the sweetest and most buttery beautiful and young olive with this process.

The process of dry-curing olives using salt and nothing else is called the Moroccan style. The salt draws out the moisture and the bitterness to leave you with a wrinkly fruit is rich in flavors.

There are also olives labeled as “ripe olive.” These are green and young olives that are lye-cured and exposed to oxygen as well as ferrous gluconate. Ferrous gluconate is an iron compound that produces a mild-tasting, smooth, and black olive. Green ripe olives are also produced similarly but not oxidized, which is the reason why they remain green.

Unpitted or Pitted

Without a doubt, pitted olives are more convenient. But although you save more time because you don’t need to remove the pits, you also tend to lose flavor.

Try to think of it as a whole peach. When whole, there is no break to the skin, the juice doesn’t leach out, and the flavors remain intact.