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Old 06-30-2006, 01:22 PM   #1
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Deli bought loose olives how to store

At the risk of sounding like an insufferable pain where one sits, I wish to emphasize that it's not advice I'm seeking, it's information. I already have enough advice to write a book, but knowledgeable information seems to be at a premium.

Briefly, the facts are these: I love olives not the kind that come in jars, but those sold loose in a deli. My source is a goodly distance from where I live so I buy well more than the average amount at a time. The clerk advises to simply leave them in the container and store in the fridge. I don't consider that useful information.

With any luck, a 90 year old Greek, Italian, or Spanish grandmother will be reading this and will have a grandkid email me advise me (in a nice way) what I can do with my olives.

For those who are curious, I love those huge purple Afonso olives from Chile and those huge brown Hondroelia olives from Greece. I might add, I've been putting my olives in jars and filling the jars with olive oil (works beautifully), but this seems to be an expensive way to store olives. However, I'd do it if Grandma says that's the way to go. I've read olives can be stored in brine, or even a combination of oil and brine Yes?

C'mon grandma!

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Old 06-30-2006, 01:34 PM   #2
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How are the olives cured? If they're cured in brine, store them in brine. An acidic solution such as one made with vinegar or lemon will also serve to preserve the olives.

That's my advice, oops, I mean my information.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mignon
The clerk advises to simply leave them in the container and store in the fridge. I don't consider that useful information.
I am curious why you do not consider that useful information? the clerk is actually quite right. When you get them from the deli they are in a container with liquid right? That is how the deli is storing them. That liquid is what they should be stored in.

Surey ou can use oilive oil. That is not a bad way to go, but like you said it can be expensive.

The liquid they are stored in usually is a brine so that is a good way to go as well.

I do not think a combo of brine and oil would do you and good though as the oil and water would seperate.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:30 PM   #4
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I'm delighted to have received two responses so promptly from two luminaries even though neither of you gentleman qualify as 90 year old grandmothers.

I don't know how the olives I buy are cured, but I am going to guess they are cured in brine (because they are displayed at the deli in a bowl in a dark liquid). It never occurred to me to request that the liquid be included with my olives, but the stuff looks so murky and unwholesome that the first thing I do when I get home is rinse my olives under running tap water.

However, a solution to my dilemma appears to be at hand I'm now persuaded that brine is the way to go. So then, why can't I make my own brine? Well, one reason is I have no idea what a proper brine is. Should I boil the water first? How much salt should I use? Vinegar?

If I had realized olives were going to be so much trouble outside a Martini, I would have switched to Manhattans.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:38 PM   #5
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I am glad you realize I do not qualify as a 90 year old grandmother

A brine in its most simple form is simplest water and salt.

To make a brine like this you do not need to boil the water although that would not hurt anything if you did. The olives might change taste though if you use your our brine as opposed to the brine they are in when you buy them. That might not be a bad thing, but it might be. You will just have to try it and see.

As for how much salt to water to use, that is all personal taste. Experimentation will be your friend here.

Personally if it were me, I would just keep it in the brine that they were in at the deli. If you do not trust that liquid and feel you need to wash it off as soon as you get home then I don't think I would trust the olives that have been soaking in it and sucking up all that liquid. If you can trust the olives then you can trust the brine. Just my 2 cents of course.

Oh since you brought up martinis, if you will just be using the olvies for that then you can actually store then in vermouth. Also not the cheapest route, but that is ok
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:33 PM   #6
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Inspired by you two ersatz grannies, I worked like a bee and developed a little more light on the subject. A California olive grower is the source of the following information (after having first indicated that storing olives in olive oil is the Rolls Royce of olive storing): the preferred brine solution consists of 2 teaspoons of salt per quart of boiled water. Interestingly, it was suggested that a little olive oil could be added which form a separate layer on top (presumably to coat the olives as they're removed from the jar).

I feel so inspired by all this, I may go out to buy and olive tree for shade.

I was kidding about the Martini, but an Alfonso olive might make it an unforgettable experience.

P.S. I checked out your Photography site, that dear lady holding the baby was the one you should have consulted on all this, she looks to me like she knows babies and olives.
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:40 PM   #7
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Well she sure knows babies, that is for sure

Let us know how your brine turns out. I will be very curious to hear the results!
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:13 AM   #8
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Mignon, your eloquence is_____. Well, anyway, why put them in a brine that is not really the brine they were cured in. This presents the possibility of "leaching" out the flavor with which they were infused. As someone said, why not just store them well covered in the fridge.
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Old 07-02-2006, 11:53 AM   #9
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Grechen, were you to solicit my advice on how to care for a new frock, I wouldn't advise you to fold it up neatly and return it to the box it came in even if the box was from Neiman Marcus.

I detect a lessening of quality in my olives when I store them in the fridge unaccompanied by anything but air. I know peanut butter does fine without human intervention, but the noble olive deserves better care.

Yesterday, at an eclectic social gathering, I was introduced to a middle-eastern gentleman and his trophy wife. She was clearly bored with the main discussion regarding oil (the hydrocarbon kind) and eager to be amused. She turned to me and expressed an interest in literature. It turned out she had never heard of Dagwood or Popeye. I was appalled to find she had forgotten more about Goethe and Shakespeare than I ever read. Throwing caution to the wind, I turned the conversation to olives. Expecting a little seductive toe dance, the lady was stunned by my move. Nevertheless, I got it, you might say, straight from the the horse's mouth in her household, table olives are kept in olive oil.

Hey, if this gorgeous lady eats olives stored in olive oil, why not me I don't want to be a peasant forever.
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