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Old 09-29-2014, 08:27 AM   #1
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Anyone have success Curing Fresh Unripe (Green) olives?

My local store is selling fresh unripe ( green) olives in the produce section. I've tried curing them in the past with not such great luck. I recently came across a guy ( and older Italian gentleman) who has been doing it for years, and was giving me suggestions on what to do ( what he has done for years with great success).

I was wondering who else has tried this and has had good results.

Thanks ,

Larry

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Old 10-06-2014, 08:33 AM   #2
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So its been 2 weeks, so far, on my green olive experiment .
I followed the directions of my old Italian friend on curing raw green olives. A way that he has been doing it for decades.

For Phase one, he told me to crush each olive ( He used to be a mason, so he uses some old marble pieces to crush the olives). Not to completely flatten, but to expose the inside so the bitterness could be released over the first phase in the salty brine. Ive read many other techniques ( Online) before trying this one. Most suggest just to make a slit or two ( with a knife) on the olive. This allows the olive to be more intact / whole. The crushing method creates more of an 'olive pieces' presentation, but exposes more of the inside of the olive, allowing the bitterness to release quicker.

Anyway, His next suggestion was to then soak the crushed olives in a salty brine ( 1 cup of salt / gallon of cool ( room temp) water ( completely dissolved). Store at room temperature ( out of direct sunlight) for 2 weeks. Other techniques Ive seen recommend changing the salty water each day. I only changed it once ( after the first week). I did taste it at this point, and there was still enough bitterness to make them unpleasant.

Today was two weeks, so I tasted one ( even though the process is not complete), and I would say about %95 of the bitterness is gone. Definitely edible. Has that olive-like taste and olive-like consistency. So now on to Phase 2

Phase 2 is to draine the olives from their salty brine. Let them soak a few days in %100 room temp water. This will help remove some of the salt. If the olives salt content is ok initially after removing from the brine, then this step could be skipped. Mine are slightly too salty, so I will let them soak a few days ( checking every day so I dont remove too much salt). Other techniques ive seen suggest to change the water each day,

Ill report back in a few days on the 3rd and final phase.

PS: I actually ran to the store and bought a bunch more raw green olives. After tasting them and realizing that this process works. And Knowing that the raw olives are seasonal, and rarely available except a few weeks out of the year, I decided to get another batch going.

Larry
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:06 AM   #3
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Interesting, Larry. I've often wondered about the curing process for olives. I'll be watching here for an update.

Have you ever tried curing ripe olives?
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:50 AM   #4
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Ill be crushing my next batch in a few hours. Ill take pics so all can see the entire process. I tried it a few years ago with terrible results. This seems to be working out real well. I love learning techniques from older generations. To me , its the best source of learning, things that have been passed down from generation to generation and hearing it first hand. The internet is a great tool, but actually hearing these gems one on one, face to face, there is nothing better ( in my experience). Just the tone in his voice, facial expressions, hand gestures (on how to crush the olives) were priceless. Nothing I could have learned just by reading a recipe. Cant explain, but I think you guys know what I mean.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:01 AM   #5
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Your explanation was fine. Sitting and listening to the older generation is the best. Not only does it teach you the technique but it gives you an insight into the way they lived.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:48 PM   #6
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I thought lye was used in the curing process of unripened, green olives.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:53 PM   #7
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I thought so too, and it might be one method or the commercial method. This technique/ recipe I got from an older Italian gentleman, the way he and his family have done it for years ( possibly generations).

Basically:

Crush olives to Insides are exposed
Soak in salt water (1 cup of salt / gallon water) for 2 weeks ( can vary)
Soak in plain water a few days ( can vary)
Ultimately, Cover in olive oil, garlic, hot pepper flakes + anything else you may want to add ( rosemary...)

I havent gotten to the final stage yet, but even just after salting them for 2 weeks, to me , they taste great, consistency is good ..
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