[Sca-cooks] Olives

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Mon Dec 21 18:35:45 PST 2009

Simon replied to me with:

<<< Last year when I had the handful of olives I put them in a pint jar
with a heavy salt brine.  Changed it a couple of times when a scum
developed and waited six months.  Worked out pretty well.  The
variety is small so the product was not impressive to see but they
tasted good.  don't remember exactly what proportions of salt to water  
I used.>>>

Thanks.  After I made my comment about not knowing where I would get  
raw olives, it occurred to me that I hadn't tried searching the web  
yet. Lo, there are several possibilities.

According to one, http://www.greatolives.com  the raw ones are  
available for only a few weeks each year.

"We will only offer this product when it is available; for green  
olives, that is usually from about the middle of September 15th till  
about October 20th; for black olives, that is usually in November  
(weather permitting.) This can vary from year to year."

"These olives are fresh from the tree. If you would like some  
information on curing fresh olives, check out oliveoilsource.com, or  
go to our Recipes page for a Mediterranean Partida Style Recipe, a Lye  
Process for Green-Ripe Olives, and a couple of Fresh Black Olive Cures."

The "Green-Ripe Olives" seems to imply that not all ripe olives are  
black and this gives another process than the salt/salt-brine method(s).

They talk about different size olives, from Large (3/4 in.) to  
Colossal (1 in.). Some types you can buy sorted, others not. Why would  
you want a particular size? I can see perhaps for uniformity for  
decorative reasons, although that doesn't say why you'd want all large  
vs. all Extra Large (7/8 in.) or one of the other two sizes.

The raw olives are available in 10 lb boxes for about $18 plus  
shipping although it differs from year to year. Still, seems much  
cheaper than the cured olives.

Another note says "The black olives are available in November, weather  
permitting. It is possible for orchards to lose their entire crop of  
black olives." Which reflects the problem that Simon had this year.  
Sounds like a real gamble. "Do I harvest now while they are green or  
take a chance and wait until they ripen, and perhaps lose all of them."

I can just imagine it. You could have olives aging in one corner, mead  
and wine brewing in another, vinegar growing? in another and cheese in  
another.  Arrg. I've got enough unfinished projects already.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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