Olive You.

 

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Olives.  One of the healthiest foods on the planet–their oil is touted as a miracle worker.

I have never been a big fan.

Ever.

Except maaaaybe when they were marinating in gin or vodka.  And then only occasionally.

Then it happened.

A trip to Turkey and Greece, where every meal–including breakfast!–included olives.  Of all shapes, sizes, and colors.  And by colors, I don’t mean red, purple, and teal, but black and varying shades of green from a very light, almost in the yellow family to a very dark, well, olive color.

For 18 days, I would force myself to eat a handful of olives at each meal–even breakfast!  What I discovered is that the olives we were served tasted so much better–milder, but more flavorful.  I know that seems like an oxymoron and perhaps it is, but the pungent-ness experienced with my former associations with olives was no longer present.  Miraculously, after a few days, the forcing became less and less and the olive eating and enjoying became more and more.  I still do not like black olives, and honestly, probably never will.  But I have become a fan of green olives, especially the smaller Spanish variety.  I now seek them out in grocery stores–especially places like Whole Foods, where there is an olive bar.

They also serve as a reminder that “when in Rome…” because you just never know.

Of course learning to develop an appreciate for olives doesn’t have to include a trip to the Mediterranean–while fabulous, it’s not always practical. Many grocery stores (even the one in my very small hometown) are starting to carry olive bars–try a few types this week, then a few more next week.  You’ll soon find that you’re truly an olive aficionado with not much effort.

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4 thoughts on “Olive You.

  1. I’ve always loved olives . . . . always. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have eaten the ones off your plate on numerous occasions. . . .

  2. Reblogged this on The Epicurious Texan and commented:

    The one thing that was conspicuously absent from all of the hundreds and hundreds of photos that April & I took were pictures of food. And I’m not sure why…I feel like it had something to do with us being unsure if we would be offending anyone by whipping out our camera at each meal.

    When I thought about what food (other than raw sea urchins) I should write about, I realized I should definitely talk about olives and hazelnuts. And as I was about to write this post, realized I had already a quick blurb about olives, so I decided I would cheat–I meant, save time–and just reblog. Plus I have a LOT more followers now than I did almost a year ago when this first posted and this saves you from having to scroll so far back.

    In regards to hazelnuts, Turkey grows nearly 75% of the world’s supply of hazelnuts. And they are everywhere, mainly roasted for sale in the markets and in a chocolatey spread (think Nutella, but much more flavorful). Of course once I had tried this amazing deliciousness, I indulged every morning for breakfast! I even tried to bring some back. I COMPLETELY ignored April’s advice to pack it in my checked bags because those bags were already filled with bottles of Turkish olive oil. And I thought because it’s a solid, I could carry it on. The kicker? It wasn’t until our 8th (and final) checkpoint in Istanbul that it was confiscated. NOT HAPPY. NOT HAPPY AT ALL. Even after all this time. I mean, c’mon–it’s food and it’s me, so you know it’s serious!

    Happy (re)reading!

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