Apr 23, 2013

Facts About Olives

Did you know the main difference between green and black olives is when they were picked? Green olives are picked before they are ripe, while black olives are allowed to ripen on the tree.

After that, green olives are soaked in a solution containing lye, then fermented in brine for anywhere between 6 to 12 months after being picked. The longer the olive is fermented, the less bitter and more flavorful it becomes. Green olives are usually pitted, and often stuffed with items such as pimientos, anchovies, jalapenos, garlic or onions.

Black olives are also soaked in lye to lessen their bitterness, then cured in brine, but rarely stuffed. Green olives contain about twice as much sodium as black olives, while black olives contain more oil than green.

Olive oil  has been considered sacred since ancient times and is still used in religious ceremonies today. It was used to anoint kings in ancient Greece, for grooming bodies and hair in Ancient Rome, burnt in sacred lamps of temples, rubbed on the first Olympic athletes to cure muscle aches. Victors in Olympic games were crowned with wreathes made of olive branches and leaves.

Olive trees can live for over a thousand years.

Speaking of Olives and long living, Popeye's friend Olive Oyl was the main star of the comic strip for ten years before Popeye took top billing. She was also the supposed fiancee of Harold Hamgravy before Popeye stepped into her life.

Olive's family included  her brother, Castor Oyl, Castor's estranged wife, Cylinda Oyl, their mother, Nana Oyl (after banana oil), their father, Cole Oyl. Olive's nieces Diesel Oyl and Violet Oyl, her two uncles, Otto Oyl and Lubry Kent Oyl and cousin, sultry blonde Sutra Oyl.