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Olives

Hi everyone, I'm not sure if this query should be in Gardening or Food so I'll post it twice.

We have two olive trees which are full of olives and I'd like to try processing some myself. I've found several techniques on-line but just can't decide which to use. Has anyone here ever done their own olives with success, and if so, what did you do?
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Re: Olives

You will be lucky if your olives have not been attacked by the olive fruit fly (mouche d'olive - Google the term for more information)

We first preserved our (black) olives in 2013, when we had a particularly good crop from our single tree, and are still consuming the brine cured ones. These take quite a while before they can be eaten; we changed the brine after 1 month and twice more at two week intervals. Succesive brine storage removes more and more of the bitter taste, so if they are too bitter, keep changing the brine every fortnight until you like them. We also cured some in the Greek style (dry salt) which got used up quite quickly in Greek salads.

In 2014 we still had so many preserved that we didn't pick them in that year, in 2015 they were too severely damaged by the fly to be worth picking, and last year, 2016, they were again badly attacked by the fly and all fell to the ground before ripening properly. I had sprayed them with the recommended non chemical clay solution 2 or 3 times, but it had no effect

This year we have a heavy crop, but there seem to be quite a lot showing signs of attack, although they have not fallen so far, and I am hopeful.

Next year I plan to use the most recently proposed method of control, which is to hang yellow coloured bottles on the trees containing a solution which attracts the flies and drowns them.
 http://www.olive-info.eu/news/france-piegeage-massif-de-la-mouche-de-l-olive-au-phosphate-diammonique
The colour yellow apparently also attracts them.

You should check the olives before curing and discard any you are doubtful about. They should be fully ripe to be picked black, which is usually December onwards, depending on where you are.

We used recipes found here, pages 5 to 9, copy and paste to your browser : https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8267.pdf

We used black olives, not crushed nor slit, in the recipe for Salt-cured olives, and in that for Dry salt-cured olives. I found it best to print out the pages with the recipes I needed.

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken 1880 - 1956

Some may not like his views, but what a prediction!
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Re: Olives

Thanks Nomoss for such a detailed and helpful mailing. I've seen some fly damage, but there does appear to be plenty of 'clean' ones. This is the first year we've had the trees so I'll follow your advice/links and see what happens...
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Re: Olives

Our olive trees have suffered badly over the last few years, flies, dryness etc, so no olives for a while, though I am still eating up our last good crop from a few years ago.  I was given this method by a local vigneron / farmer etc.

Put the olives into a bowl, I used glass ones as you need something that will not react with the salt, and sprinkle with a good amount of salt.  Cover (at least I do to protect from bugs), stir daily, and taste from time to time, until they are ready to eat.  Then bottle etc.

The salt brings out the liquid from the olives and makes its own brine.  I have both not rinsed before bottling and rinsed, which does remove some of the saltiness of this method..  I have both kept them in brine and au naturel after the treatment.  Personally, I prefer the non-brine stored, but I suggest you use whichever you prefer.

Much easier than faffing with brine itself, and it worked for me.

We have a local olive co-op, and in the past we have taken our olives there. If you supply enough you can get a good bottle of olive in return, or for a lower price, depending on the weight of olives you contribute. Useful to know, if you have a local co-op too.



Judith
ex W1, via 47 and 11 and now [just] in 34, equidistant from Carcassonne, Narbonne and Béziers, where I hope we'll finally stay!!

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Re: Olives

Judith's method is similar to the "DRY SALT-CURED" method in the UC publication I linked to above.

It produces a tasty but shrivelled product, which is good for salads and pizzas etc., but some find the taste too strong and/or salty.

The brine cure methods give a softer product which has a unique flavour due to the fermentation which occurs, and is preferred by some for eating on its own.

The taste can also be made milder by further changes of the brine as mentioned.

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken 1880 - 1956

Some may not like his views, but what a prediction!
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Re: Olives

Thanks to both of you - you've been very helpful. Coincidentally nomoss, the link you gave is one of the sites I'd been looking at and thought sounded good - you've confirmed it for me. Judith, do the olives have to be black/ripened using your method?
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Re: Olives

Its been quite windy here, and yesterday olives began falling off our largest tree; today they are dropping in larger numbers. Those on the ground are either quite shrivelled or obviously damaged by the fly, but some of those still on the tree look sound.

I am not going to pick any until they stop falling, as I believe, and I have read, see below, that the ones which don't fall will be good (if any left), as I don't fancy eating bugsWoot! [:-))]

Next year we'll have traps out in force.

https://honest-food.net/how-to-make-oil-cured-olives/

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken 1880 - 1956

Some may not like his views, but what a prediction!
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Re: Olives

It is certainly the case with sweet chestnuts that the first to fall are worm infested, so I could well believe it would be the case for olives.
Andy

A European Rahinja.
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