I love olives. I don’t think I’ve ever met an olive I didn’t like. I enjoy them green, purple and black or any color in-between. I like them plain or stuffed. I like them in a tapenade, or enjoyed with toothpicks. I like them in about any recipe I’ve ever tried or any dish served at a restaurant. But I’ve found it’s pretty much a yay or nay with most people. So when I’m dining out and there’s a ‘nay’ across from me, I’ll usually push my bread plate nearby to catch the cast-asides. 

Here’s a fascinating 5-minute video showing how olives are processed and even stuffed. Here’s an excellent 5-minute video recipe for olive tapenade. Here’s another 5-minute video, this one featuring an olive grove, general facts about olives, and how olives are harvested. Finally, this fourth 5-minute video shows how olive oil is made.

FunFacts about Olives: (Source)  

  • Basic Information, quote: The olive, known by the botanical name Olea europaea, meaning “European olive”, is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, found in the Mediterranean Basin from Portugal to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and southern Asia as far east as China, as well as the Canary Islands and Réunion. The olive’s fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil; it is one of the core ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine. The tree and its fruit give their name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilacs, jasmine, Forsythia, and the true ash trees (Fraxinus). (Source)
  • The olive tree is an evergreen shrub that is native to the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia.
  • The olive tree rarely gets bigger in height than 8–15 m (26–49 ft).
  • The leaves of the olive tree are oblong and a silvery green.
  • The trunks of the olive tree are usually gnarled and twisted.
  • The flowers of the olive tree are white.
  • Olives are harvested anywhere from green to purple.
  • The olive is a drupe. The seed is often referred to as a pit or stone.
  • Fossils indicate the olive had its origins some 20-40 million years ago.
  • Olives have been eaten since the Bronze age.
  • Olives are not native to the Americas.
  • There are an estimated 865 million olive trees worldwide.
  • Olives are inedible unless pickled. They are fermented in brine for 9 months.
  • During processing, when olives enter the pitting machine, the olives are pitted at the rate of 900 per minute.
  • Olive trees are not pollinated by insects but rather by the wind.

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Disclaimer: As with any food, herbal remedy, beverage or concept on this blog, be sure to contact your physician before eating, imbibing or using for medical purposes any substance discussed on this blog. Always err on the side of caution and keep yourself well-informed. ~ Caris Roane

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September Winners: Caroline R.M., Shonda S., Kathy H., HLP!!!

August Winners: Linda O., Jodi M., Karina H., Sheryl P. and Marie S. from Tennessee!

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42 thoughts on “Olives

    • Shannon,
      We have the same taste buds, lol! I don’t know if you watched the video on making the olive tapenade, but after I did, that’s what I made for my lunch. It was so good. I didn’t have the exact ingredients. I used Kalamatas, fresh garlic, olive oil, black pepper and capers. I just chopped it all up with a knife then spread it on open-faced grilled cheese. It was fabulous!

      Buckeye, Arizona USA

  1. I am from Virginia. I don’t care for just olives but love them in foods. I love all your pictures they are great. Thanks for a chance at winning one of your beautiful bracelets .

  2. I’m definitely not a fan of olives and will never deliberately eat them. Olive oil, on the other hand, is great for cooking or when used with balsamic vinegar for dipping bread!

  3. Thank you for such valuable, interesting information regarding the production of olive oil. After watching the video of the olive pressing, the next video in the cue was the production of canola oil, which I knew nothing about. Let’s just say that after watching how they acquire the oil now puts me FIRMLY in the olive oil camp. I don’t know that I am up for an olive oil tasting, but I will use olive oil exclusively from this day on.

  4. I like salty and tart foods. I do enjoy green olives straight out of the jar and green and black olives on the salad is always delicious. I’n not much on all stuffed olives, I have to like the stuffing. When we go to eat at Olive Garden, my boys fight over who gets the olives out of the salad. We finally asked for extra olives so everyone could enjoy. I cook with olive oil. My husband being Italian grew up on olive oil.

  5. I love the photos of the trees. There is so much character in all the twists and gnarls. I’m not a huge fan of olives but I will eat them if they are mixed into the meal simply because its easier than picking them out unless they are right on the top.

  6. My 3 year old grand daughter loves olives!!! She started eating them from the time her teeth came in. It’s funny me and she are the only ones in my family who like them. You literally have to make her stop or she would eat a jar full lol. I learned today what a tapenade was and also its the first time I’ve seen a olive blossom. A very pretty flower. I was also surprised that in the video the hard were hand filled. I assumed it would be by a machine. I really like picture # 6,7,11,&23 The color in #23 is delightful.

    • Marie,
      I had a similar reaction to the hand-stuffing of the olives! Like you, I was convinced it was all machine done. I was impressed!

      Buckeye, Arizona USA

  7. I do use olive oil, but like most of the other people who have commented, I’m not a fan of them. The only time that I do eat them is when I go to Olive Garden and they’re in the salad that they give you.

  8. I love olives. I couldn’t get enough of them when I was pregnant.

    When we visited Spain in ’92, we drove through olive groves–they were on either side of the road–on the island of Mallorca. So cool to see them. I have pictures.

    Fresh Spanish tapenade! The best.

    denise from maryland

  9. I love olives. I especially love the green ones stuffed with pimento if you drain the original juice and refill it with beer.

  10. Enjoyed all the pictures and didn’t realize an olive tree is twisted and gnarly. I love green olives with pimento (I don’t like the ones that are stuffed with crazy stuff) – eat them in everything and love them plain too. Also love the black olives in salads and just eat them plain. My father was part Greek so we had the Kalamata olives and I love them too. My husband does NOT like them, so I have them all to myself!! 🙂 AZ

  11. I am from Virginia. I simply love olives! Whether just by themselves or in salads, on pizza, in spaghetti, in chili, in pasta, or in/on bread, olives are the gifts of the gods.
    Love all of the pictures you have posted about olives.

  12. I love olives. I think the best ones I’ve had were from Crete, small black salted. Bought them at the market opposite our hotel.

  13. I live green olives but not black ones because they taste bitter.

    I also won’t eat olives with pits because I almost choked on one.

  14. Love olives and olive oil. There are olive trees down the middle of the 215 freeway and San Bernardino is full of old olive trees. Southern California is a haven for olive trees.

  15. I always ate olives when I was young. Momma always bought olives with pimentos. But as an adult I really dont care for them.

  16. I love olives! Even have an olive tree in the yard. My mother-in-law ‘s neighbor brings me back olives from Greece! My favorite thing is watching the little ones stick them on their fingers for alien hands before they gobble them up!

  17. Isn’t it funny how our tastes change with age. So many of the things I didn’t like as a kid I now like very much, one example being olives. Hated them as a kid, but can’t get enough of them as an adult.

  18. Very interesting blog!! I learned some things!! Not a huge fan, but I do eat them..I do a green olive and cream cheese bal for Christmas..colorful and taste is awesome!! I always joked I wanted the job of putting the pimentos in the green ones…lol!!!

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