Olives

“A hundred years from now it won’t matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove . . . but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

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Did you know that you can’t eat olives straight off the tree? I mean I’m sure those of you from Turkey, Israel, or other olive growing regions found this one out long ago, but if you are like me and have never seen an olive tree before, you may not have ever thought about it. As we were cycling along the coast we noticed orchards of trees with many people hitting them with long wooden poles while others were collecting the small round things from the ground. After visiting a local market where they were selling olives by the bucket, we realized that that’s what they must have been harvesting. Sure enough, we were passing through a famously rich olive growing region in south western Turkey.

Now, back to how you eat them. From what I understand, green olives are just immature olives and are pretty mild, so water alone is enough to cure them. The water removes the oleuropein which is the part that makes them sharp and bitter. If olives are left to fully ripen they will turn purple or black, and once they are ripe, you need more than water to cure them and remove the bitter taste. One family told me that they use salt, vinegar, and water to cure theirs. They put the olives into the water or solution they are using to cure them, and leave them for one week to one month depending on how you want it to taste.

For a photo of the day and other updates follow me on facebook here, and for some awkwardly cropped photos from our journey, follow us on Instagram @awanderingphoto!

3 thoughts on “Olives

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