An Unstill Life

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Monday, April 16, 2012

O is for...Olives



Olives have always intrigued me. They grow on trees and taste absolutely disgusting when you pick them off and eat them. Yet cured, they're delicious. Pressed into oil they're amazing. How did anyone ever figure that out?

Was it because people were so desperate for food, they were willing to eat the foul tasting things because they didn't kill them? And once they realized they were safe to eat, albeit gross, they had to figure out a way to make them palatable?

I don't know... But I do know there's nothing quite as delicious as Kalamata olives marinated with lemon zest and chili.

Do any of you know the history behind the eating of olives?

7 comments:

  1. I don't know anything about how olives became food, though I love considering questions like that. Like how did someone come up with using yeast to make bread rise?

    But I love good Kalmata olives. There's a kind I get that are marinated in redwine and Italian spices, but now I'm going to see if I can find a lemon and chili kind. That sounds good.

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  2. Interesting question, but sorry, i don't have an answer, either. I do remember from a visit to Cyprus that the olive trees were pretty much 'sacred' to their owners and it is a huge crime if you touch even one olive on a tree that doesn't belong to you.

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  3. OMG, I'm actually salivating a bit thinking of kalamata olives on this "Greek Pitza" I make. Soooooooo good.

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  4. I've asked myself this exact question! And no, no idea how people figured this one out.

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  5. All I know is that my life would be a sad, sad place without them...

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  6. I love olives. I use to go through a can a day when I was a kid. Yeah, gross, I know.

    My boyfriend hates them and will refuse to kiss me if I've been eating them.

    As for their history, I don't know. I guess when you're starving, you'll eat anything. A lot of agriculture and crop development was likely the result of many years of experimentation. Maybe they pickled olives in the hope they would last longer, and discovered the process made them taste a lot better. And I'm guessing they tried to get oil out of anything and everything back then.

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  7. Mmmmmm, olives! I love every single kind. Ever had olive bread? or those bright green Italian olives? Or the red ones? In fact, I've always looked at martinis as just a fun way to eat more olives.

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