Maker of clothes, recipes, natural fabric dyeing, Gardener of veg, fruit and flowers.

Maker of clothes, recipes, natural fabric dyeing, Gardener of veg, fruit and flowers.

Curing Olives

Recently I have harvested some olives from trees in the village at Italy. It’s not a lot of olives I manage to harvest. As there are only a handful of olive trees that I could harvest easily by hand.

Olive harvest

We got an olive tree at home back in London. Although we had a hot summer there is hardly much olives had one could even use to cure. Here in Italy there is abundance of it everywhere you go especially you are out in the countryside. here is how to Harvest Olives

Olives can’t be eaten fresh once it’s harvested as they taste very bitter. Therefore it needs to cure first before eating to draw away the bitterness in the brine solution.

Curing olives in brine

As we are going to travel back to the UK soon for the moment I have decided to use the simple method of salt curing and leave in the garage till our next trip. The next trip probably will be in two months time.

Another method of curing is by using water, soaking it in water and changing it everyday. We got about a door to door about 9-10 hours journey I just wonder if the olives will survive the journey. With just getting only 100 mls of the maximum liquid allowance on hand luggage. I really don’t want my precious olives to be thrown away in the bin at the airport?!!

I have read some where that olives can survive 3 days without anything done to them once harvested. So I might give some of it a try.

For the water cure method is used in curing Greek Kalamata olives. You either slit or remove the pit from the olives so that the water penetrates thru. I have yet to try this method apparently it can take up to a month or 6 days. Then you still have to put them in brine solution.

The recipe for bribe solution is that to make a salt solution that is about 10% of the water content. When an egg floats on top it’s enough salt.

The saltiness will enough to keep the bugs away all I did was to pour boiling hot water to the curing jars and put the lid. Then give it a shake a much as I can.

Curing process

After 3 days of curing the olives in salt water brine, they started bubbling in the jar ?!! Apparently it’s a chemical reaction with salt and olives. So one had to open the tops of the curing jars in order to release the pressure. I had to bring them home with me in which I did. I drain the brine away and dry them up in a towel. It was altogether a 9 hours journey, even that they did turn to a funny colour. I put them in brine as soon as I can.

Seems like the very small olives are slowly to loose their bitterness. It does not taste as bitter as I thought. The much bigger one definitely still bitter. I have put the brine when it’s still quite warm perhaps that is the reason? But definitely I let it cool completely before I put the lids on. Also I put a slice or two of fresh lemon so that the olives that were floating were soak in the brine. after about a month or two once the olives start to sink do take out the lemons.


curing olives

making olives edible
making olives edible

curing your own olives



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