Olives. One of the healthiest foods on the planet–their oil is touted as a miracle worker.
I have never been a big fan.
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.