Monday, November 16, 2009


I have a difficult relationship with olives, although our relationship started rather innocently. I heard the first time of olives in Sunday school, when our teacher told us the story of Noah and showed us an olive twig, so that we knew what this thing was that the dove returned.*

Olives were not a very common thing where I grew up. The next encounter I actually remember was about 10 years later during my apprenticeship, where I had to install a pump for a tank for blue lobsters, which was located next to five huge barrels of olives. The combination is haunting me ever since. In other words the odour of olives in oil I find rather revolting.

Nevertheless, I like dishes that are cooked with black olives. Although, I don't eat the olives.

But there is an exception to my avoidance of olives: Tapenade, the Provençal dish consisting of puréed or finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. It's just the perfect hors d’œuvre.

*In Sunday school we also had this collection box with a small black boy on the top, who bowed gratefully when you entered a coin. I don't think that is in use any more.


Anonymous said...

In a martini?

Ms Mac said...

Yes, a gin soaked green olive is one of my absolute faves.

As you may recall, I've only been eating olives for a couple of years now but they've fast become one of my favourite foods.

Mickle in NZ said...

It took a few years but now I love olives, snd anchovies. Tapenade? Super yummy, pure drool food!

Huggles, Michelle xxx

Anonymous said...

I remember the black boy who, when you put a coin in his hand, would put it into his mouth and swallow it into the box below.


Garlic, tomato and olive oil is good too and does not have bits of olive in it!

Gauss Jordan said...

I'm the same way. I love olive oil, but loathe olives themselves.

naturgesetz said...

@ Micky & Gauss Jordan — Are the olives you dislike the green ones or the ripe ones? When I was a boy, green olives stuffed with pimiento were always on the relish plate, along with celery and something else, at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I never liked the olives, and to this day I don't like them — too salty and bitter, one of the few dislikes I have kept from childhood. But ripe olives (I know them in the version packed in water) are another story — sweet and mildly flavored. I only became acquainted with them as an adult, and they were such a pleasant surprise. But I have had highly salted ripe olives packed in oil, and to my taste they're not much better than the green ones.

Seth said...

LOL @ the coin boxes. Sheesh.

I think I used to hate olives when I was younger. Sometimes we'd go to restaurants rather old-fashioned sort of American places, where they would put a tray of... I don't know what to call them, not really appetizers, it was just sort of like this thing, they would serve usually carrot sticks, celery sticks, olives, and bread and butter. The olives always scared me LOL. I usually went for the bread and butter.

Nowadays I enjoy olives in many forms - the tart crunchy green ones like Cerignola, but especially the soft raisin-like oil cured olives such as the Moroccan ones.

I guess it's an accquired taste.

Gauss Jordan said...

green or black, usually sliced and placed on pizzas (at this point). I avoid them in all other contexts. :-)