The Simple Art of Curing Olives

curing olives
Grabbing a handful

Grabbing a handful

Home-cured olives are a normal practice in the Middle East and Mediterranean.  It has been done this way for thousands of years.

Therefore it’s not unusual to find families still curing their own olives at home.

We learned that Morocco is the 2nd largest exporter of olives in the world after Greece, and they have their own way of curing; using chilies, lemons and other North African spices in their brine.

Luckily, the kids had the opportunity to see this in action and participated in the cleaning process.

Fresh picked olives!

Fresh picked olives!

For those of you who love olives here’s a simple way of curing them;  just using water.

1) First clean the olives by removing any any marred fruit or any that were uneven in size.

2) Then pound each olive with a mallet until the fruit is slight smashing or bruised.

3) Place the olives in a very large barrel (or smaller depending on how many fresh olives you can get your hands on) and submerge them with clean water.

4) Leave them to soak for a month, changing the water everyday or sometimes even twice a day.  (The olives will release oils which rise to the top, this should be removed and replaced with fresh water)

5) After a month or transfer them to smaller jars and add your own spiced brine.

6) Keep for a week in the refrigerator

The olives we cleaned (we were told) would be cured for 1 year before they are transferred to smaller jars where the brine and spices are added.

Checking them out...

Checking them out…

No meal is served in Morocco without olives, even breakfast isn’t breakfast without them.

Olives even for breakfast!

Olives even for breakfast!

The kids learned to love them and so our next project will be to make our own home-made cured olives.

They should be experts at cleaning them by now…

The experts!

The experts!

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