When I was in Athens, I dropped by the huge produce/meat/spice market to find myself astonished and inspired babies! See photo of astonishment above. What’s that, you ask? Why my homies, those are fresh olives, just picked from the lush olive trees of Greece. From first sight it was a whirlwind of thoughts which lead me to this: MUST. SELF. CURE. So, I purchased a kilo and snuck them back into the good ‘ol USA.
After much research on how to properly cure olives, I settled on this document from the University of California’s division of agriculture and natural resources. Properly and mysteriously titled Publication 8267, I read it through and through and have embarked on a weeks long olive curing journey….
Step 1. Crack those suckahs with a mallet or rolling pin
A cracked lil Oscar the Grouch
The next step is to immerse the cracked olives in a water bath for one week and ensuring to change the water daily. The water dissolves the oleuropein which is a very bitter compound in olives which is why they must be “cured” to remove the bitterness. If you have ever bitten into an un-cured olive you will quickly realize they are entirely inedible as you wretch in disgust at the bitterness.
So now, my little guys are bathing in water, ridding themselves of impurities and awaiting the next step: the brine and flavoring…what to use…garlic? rosemary? thyme? hot peppers? peppercorns? HELP!
Stay tuned for updates GastroGirls and Chez JJP may just start a business…