Olives: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Even if you don’t cure your own olives it is important to understand the basic methods employed by commercial producers. We all know there are green and black olives. The difference is the harvest time: Green olives are picked while not fully ripe, which makes them denser and more bitter than the black olives.

Olive Oil – is it really virgin?

Since more than 5000 years it is the primary cooking oil used in the Mediterranean. I will not elaborate on Canola, Palm Seed, Coconut, Corn, Vegetable and the many other cooking oils. It’s a mute point for me. I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil and occasionally refined olive oil, which is sold in the US under labels like Pure, Classic, Light and Extra-Light Olive Oil.

How to taste Olive Oil

You find artisan oil mills in California, Oregon, Arizona, Texas and nearly all Mediterranean countries. Many have small shops and offer olive oil tastings. You can buy directly or over the internet and the price/quality is normally much better than in retail stores. Never buy olive oil in decorative glass bottles in tourist shops! You…