Curing Olives at Home – Day 1

Olives arrived from the nice folks at Penna.   Wonder as many times as  I have stopped in the adjacent city to them, to purchase “finished” olives, I haven’t stopped in to see the Pennas?  I’ll have to correct that next trip down I-5!

Years ago, living in Los Angeles, I had an olive tree in the back yard, and all it meant to me at the time (even tho I have loved olives since I was a sprout), was one big mess in the yard every fall.  I never even thought of trying to cure them at home until a couple years ago, had a notion, ordered 10 lbs from Penna, and away we went.  Problem?  10 lbs wasn’t nearly enough, people would have them  at our dinner parties and demand to take them home – so we gave a lot away.

I think probably 20-30 lbs is the right amount for an olive loving household.

Olives off the tree are inedible.  Very bitter.  Rumor has it, one day a fair maiden was walking along the sea, and noticed that a bunch of olives had fallen into a tide pool.  Desperately hungry, she nibbled a few – and they were delicious!

And thus (so the story goes) olive curing began.  Today, large commercial operations cure olive with a lye solution, in order to speed up the process of leaching out the bitterness, but at home, I used the old-timey way, with either a fresh water bath for a couple of weeks, or a brine solution for a month or more.

One cracks the flesh of the fruit with a hammer or knife, to expedite the bitterness exiting during the bath/brine process.

Then into the drink they go.  Penna has some curing methods online you might try.

I’ll keep you posted here, on how my process goes.  I know this – with only 2 1/2 pounds in the drink, they won’t last long at our house!

Here’s a short video of the start of the process, and some fotos follow below.


Curing Olives at Home


Cracking the flesh of the fresh olives

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