In this house’s kitchen the curing of olives emerged as a yearly ritual. Yet, after many a curing and a pickling, one question lingers unanswered: who chewed (over) the first olive and granted this bitterness time to mature into a noble delicatessen?
Every new olive season brings along with it a different curing method – not to improve on poor previous batches. On the contrary – but that the learning process attracts this novice.
This year I met the olive farmer. Needless to say, I tweaked my curing methods (one is never too old to learn). The tweaked methods involved dry-curing in coarse salt (a four to six weeks process resulting in a mummified olive), and curing in a salt brine (a patient nine to 12 months unfolding). The photo above shows one of last years’ procurements bottled in brine.
This yearly ritual circles outwards – inviting friends to plunge, drench and steep this inedible fruit, and encouraging each other to wait patiently for the relish to emerge.
Would you be interested in joining this circle? Or, are you already a participant of this process? Except of course, if you’re not an olive eater … or maybe, you’d comment “… it’s just like growing your own trees to make your own furniture…”