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occ's avatar

Curing fresh olives?

Asked by occ (4080points) October 29th, 2007

I asked this question a year ago, and since the Fluther community has grown so much, I thought I’d try again in case any new users have expertise in this area. During October in California you can buy fresh (uncured) olives in the farmers’ market. So once again this year I bought two pounds of fresh olives and am attempting to cure them myself. This link tells more about my attempt last year. They came out okay, but not great. i.e., edible, but you might not want to serve them at a dinner party. Anyone have experience with this and have any input? Here’s the procedure I used last year: http://fluther.com/disc/213/how-do-i-cure-olives/
The olive farmer who sold them to me said that I can soak them in brine (without changing the water) for two straight weeks, then soak in fresh water for two weeks, changing the water every day. This is different from the way I did it last year (soaking in brine, changing brine every day, and then straight into the olive oil). Any thoughts on which way is better?

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3 Answers

phred78's avatar

I can only tell you how my grandmother used to make it.
She used to put the olives with small cuts inside a vase with water, salt and oreganos. She would change the water every other day until the olives lost that bitter taste. It’s called “sweetening” here. And the olives turned out great.
Just one thing: you should never pick olives from the vase with your hand. I don’t know why, but it actually makes a difference. Maybe it’s the bacteria. Anyway, the elders know it better :o)

occ's avatar

Phred78, thank you so much! It’s been about a month and the olives are finally done. I used your method, and they taste delicious. After they were done I put them in jars with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary and let them sit for another week…yum! My only regret is that I didn’t buy more raw olives because they are going to be eaten very quickly!

phred78's avatar

No problem! Glad I could help. They do taste better than the ones you buy in the supermarket :-)

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