How to Cure Your Own Olives
|White wine vinegar|
The olive branch has long been a symbol of peace, and the olive tree has been considered sacred at least as far back as the 17th century b.c. Who are we to argue! I don’t know about you, but I love olives. I always go the the olive bar at my local supermarket (and I use that term loosely), there is nothing super about most of the chain markets in this country. Sorry, sometimes I just can’t help myself. Any way these supermarket olives are quite expensive, and we really don’t know where they came from. I am going to offer you an easy solution to this problem.
The first challenge is sourcing the olives. We have found a source for organically farmed raw olives that are specially suited for home curing. The variety of these olives are “Baronis’. They’re large green olives that ship well and are rather forgiving during the curing process. Raw olives are quite bitter prior to curing. These olives are grown in an organic grove by the Chaffin Family Orchards in Oroville California. These farmers have for over 75 years been producing products that are grown naturally and sold directly from their farm.
You can get 20 pounds of organically grown Barouni olives for $34.95. Here is the contact information:
Kurt and Carol Albrecht
- Slit olives deeply with a sharp knife.
- Soak olives in water in a glass or earthen ware vessel.
- Change water every day and rinse olives (we are removing the bitterness, which can take up to a month)
- Taste after one month. If the olives are still bitter, continue the process until bitterness is gone.
- Now is the time to start brineing. Add 1/4 cup of kosher salt to 4 cups of water.
- Add 1/4 cup white wine vinegar to the brine.
- Brine olives for at least one week, the longer the better.
- Once ready we place the olives in ball canning jars then refrigerate them in their brine or you may cover them in light olive oil. At this point you may add spices…garlic, coriander, fennel seeds, oregano, thyme etc…Use your own judgment to achieve your desired flavor profile. Take care not to over do… Less is more!
- I guarantee that you are going to have so much fun when you pull out a plate of your special olives that you cured yourself and present them to your friends and family! These olives will be super tangy, salty, slightly bitter, firm and rich!
- We keep our olives in “ball” canning jars… They will keep for a year in the refrigerator!
- Store brought Olives:
- When buying olives, remember that quality does not vary according to size. So whether you choose colossal or medium grade of the same type of olive, the flavor will be the same. For variety choose green Spanish olives stuffed with pimiento or anchovies, ripe California olives, which may be black or green; both oil-cured and dry-cured Greek olives, cracked green Sicilian olives, and small eggplant-colored nicoise olives.