Ah. Olives. What’s not to like? They’re delicious and versatile.
But we also know for a fact that some people completely dislike them.
Nevertheless, if you’re here to learn more about olives, then stay hooked.
Olives are a delicious snack that you can enjoy in many different ways.
You can eat them plain, in a dish, or even on top of a salad.
Either way, they’re a treat.
They’re also really healthy for you, which is a bonus.
If you’re wondering what do olives taste like? Are they sweet or bitter? Or wait, what exactly is an olive? – you’ll find all the answers here.
What are Olives?
Olives are small, round fruits that come from the olive tree.
Yes, they’re fruits, and more technically, a type of drupe (also known as stone fruits).
Drupes are fruits with a hard pit in the center, like peaches, plums, cherries, and, of course, olives.
In olives, the pit is what’s responsible for the prized olive oil.
Native to the Mediterranean Basin, the evergreen olive tree is one of the oldest trees in the world and has been cultivated for centuries.
However, today, olives are grown worldwide in countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Turkey, Chile, and California.
Interesting fact: About 800 million olive trees are growing on earth currently.
Appearance-wise, olives can range in color from deep purple to bright red to light yellow.
The color doesn’t affect the taste; it just indicates how ripe they are.
When it comes to taste, they’re generally bitter, tangy, or sweet, depending on the variety.
Some of the most popular types of olives include Kalamata, Picholine, and Niçoise olives.
Kalamata olives are often used in Greek cuisine and have a deep, rich flavor.
Picholine olives are common in French cuisine and have a slightly nutty flavor.
On the other hand, Niçoise olives are widely used in Italian cuisine and have a slightly fruity flavor.
What Do Olives Taste Like?
Now let’s get to the good stuff- the taste.
Most olives taste slightly bitter and salty since they’re usually cured in brine (water and salt solution).
The curing process helps preserve the olives and give them their unique flavor.
Olives can also be flavored with other ingredients, such as herbs, spices, or cheese.
When it comes to raw olives, their taste can be quite different.
They tend to have a stronger and bitter flavor as they contain high levels of oleic acid.
If you’ve never had an olive before, it’s hard to describe exactly what they taste like.
But if you’ve tried other bitter or salty foods, such as capers, you might have a good idea of what to expect.
Olives are definitely an acquired taste, but once you get used to them, they can be quite addictive.
Apart from their unique flavor, olives also shine in the health department.
They’re a good source of healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamins, and they’ve been linked with a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions.
So, if you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious snack, olives are a great option.
How to Prepare and Cook Olives?
Olives are a popular food that has been around for centuries.
They’re typically eaten as a snack or side dish and can be found in many different cuisines across the globe.
And the good news is, these little greenish drupes aren’t hard to work with at all.
If you’re working with raw olives, the first step is to remove the pit.
To do this, cut the olive in half lengthwise and then use your thumb for popping the pit out.
If the olives are too small to cut in half, you can give them a good squeeze until the pit pops out.
Then, you can simply add the olives to your dish.
Olives go extremely well with other Mediterranean ingredients, such as feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs.
And, of course, you can always add them to your pizza or pasta dish for a little extra flavor.
If you’re working with canned olives, the process is even simpler.
Just open the can and drain the olives in a colander.
Then, give them a quick rinse under cold water to get rid of any excess salt.
And that’s it- they’re ready to eat.
Another popular way to prepare olives is to stuff them.
You can start by removing the pit and stuffing the olive with various fillings, such as cheese, nuts, or meats.
Once they’re stuffed, you can cure them in brine first.
To do this, simply soak the olives in a solution of water and salt for 1-2 weeks.
This will help to soften them up and give them their characteristic flavor.
Olives are a delicious and nutritious food that has been enjoyed for centuries.
They’re a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes, and they offer a unique flavor that is perfect for adding a little zing to your meals.
Olives are also a healthy option, as they’re a good source of healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamins.
So, next time you’re looking for a snack or side dish, give olives a try.