When the statin drug Zocor, attacked my body with its "rare but unusual side effects", my Doctor suggested the Mediterranean Diet as an alternative. Learning to embrace my new way for life required diligent research. Interesting facts about olives are one result of that research. What a delight to learn that olives are not only permissible, but highly recommended on the Mediterranean Diet! Mediterranean peoples eat olives at all meals and in between; for breakfast they combine olives with thickened yogurt and smear the mixture on Arab bread.
Over 10,000 years ago, wild olives were eaten by Mesolitic cave dwellers. One would speculate they ate the little acrid darlings straight from the olive tree. (Can you say pucker-up and kiss me?) Olives were eventually transported to America by the Portuguese and Spanish in the 15th-16th centuries.
Would it surprise you to know that olives are classed as fruits? Unlike their other drupaceous cousins, the peach, cherry and apricot, olives must be processed in a salt and water brine or oil. It may not excite you to know that in America olives are processed in a lye solution and boiled in iron prior to canning.
If you have access to an Italian or Greek delicatessen, it's worth the trip to scope out the varieties of olives - Greek, French, North African and Italian or even bitten green olives imported from the Middle East. Taste the fresh luscious Kalamata (oily Greek black olives), and you may never open another jar of supermarket olives.
Don't let the fact that olives are high in fat disillusion you. Olives contain 'good' or monounsaturated fat (omega-9), which is a daily requirement for cellular function. If you monitor salt limit your consumption to about ten olives per day.
According to the "New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" by Nancy Harmon Jenkins, you can treat your own fresh green olives. That is, if you can find them. First, crack the green olives with a hammer, discard seeds and soak the olive fruit in fresh water. Change water daily for three weeks and then drain. Fill glass jars with layers of olives and lemon slices, salting each layer as you go. Finish by covering the mixture with olive oil. Let it meld in a cool, dark place for about three weeks before tasting.
Be mindful that ten olives per day help keep the statins away! Now that you are aware of the olive's interesting facts, I trust you won't limit their use to your holiday table.
I think I will stick to buying olives, since the preparing is too much work for the little home I have with limited space. I prefer green to black in some recipes yet revert to liking black in some dishes too. Thank you for the great list, I learned a lot from you and it was interesting too.
Number two really surprised me! But then it sounds perfectly reasonable imagining one. You taught me a lot about this beloved fruit that I have always eaten, even as a very little girl. Thanks for such a nice list!
select one here...