Dipping Dish Gourmet

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Archive for May, 2008

Taste of Olives

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Sample numerous varieties to see what kind of olives you like. You can take your pick from the salty, sweet, bitter, smoky or sour olives. There are even olives that are packed with Mediterranean herbs, thus giving it an ”herby” taste. Personally, my favorites are some of the green kinds (particularly the larger one), as it as a slightly bitter taste.

Here are some of the ways you can enjoy olives:

• Olive tapenade. This is very easy to make and yet is quite delicious. Tapenade is a spread which you can use to top dishes with poultry and fish, or as a sandwich spread or dip. Put some pitted olives in a food processor. Add some garlic, olive oil, plus seasonings you like. Blend these together into a paste. These can also be kept in the fridge for future use. 

 • Pasta with olives. You can toss chop some pitted olives, add minced garlic and tomatoes into some pasta. Add some fresh herbs for more flavor.

• If you are making chicken or tuna salad, you can also toss in some chopped olives.

• You can also eat it as it is, or combined with chopped and uncooked vegetables, such as celery or carrots. You can set these out on the dinner table for you to bite into even as you enjoy a Mediterranean meal.

[tag] olive samples[/tag]


Olives Picked And Processed

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Olive processing varies with each variety of olive, as well as the region which cultivates it. The texture, taste and color of the processed olives are also considered when processed. Olives are invariably harvested in the autumn. The pickers determine when and what to pick. Sometimes, they are harvested while they are still unripe and green. Some olives are also allowed to turn black and fully ripen before they are picked.

Sometimes black olives are not allowed to ripen. Instead, the green and unripe olives are processed so until they turns into black. This is done by using processing methods that expose them to the air.

The color of the olives is also changes by different kinds of processing methods. These include curing the olives in salt, water, oil and brine. Olives may also undergo fermentation. As a result, olives turn purple, red, black, yellow or brown.

Change in colors is not the only effect of processing. The texture of the olives’ skin may also be affected. The shiny and smooth surface may turn wrinkled and shriveled because of processing.

Olives come in a number of varieties and names. These offer different flavors, most of them tasty. Olives are also given creative names such as Manzanilla, Kalamata, Nyon, Nicoise, Picholine, Cerignola and Sevillano. These olive varieties also look differently and come in diverse sizes. Olives may taste acidic, sour, bitter or smoky.

Olives can also come whole or pitted. Currently, olives are produced in Morocco, Spain, Turkey, Greece and Italy. Olives provide great health benefits, as they contain a number of substances that promote health. These include polyphenols and flavonoids, which are great anti-inflammatory compounds and protect your heart against diseases, as well as improve your gastrointestinal health.

The different kinds of olives also come in different packaging. In the supermarket or your deli store, you will find olives in tins, glass jars and tinfoil bags. You can also buy olives by the barrel. These are small barrels that are sold by weight. Once you open the package, you must keep it in the refrigerator. Put these in an airtight container, especially if these are immersed in brine.


Olives and their unique Flavor

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

The unique gourmet taste of olives. Your first bite may not be as pleasant as you expect. Olives have a unique flavor that sort of grows on you. It may taste peculiar at first but the more you are familiar with how it tastes, the more you may be drawn to it. It is an acquired taste. But once you have it, make sure you keep someon hand, in air tight container or a jar.

Get to know this wonderful fruit. There is so much to find out – its history, the kinds of olives available and the best ways one can take pleasure in them.

Olives may be one of the oldest known foods. Some say that these date back to 5 or 7 millennia ago, and hail from the island of Crete. Olives were then cultivated and grown mostly in the Mediterranean, particularly in Greece, Egypt, Palestine and nearby areas.

Olive also has its place in literature. The Bible has some references to it. It is also seen in the paintings and culture of ancient Egypt. Greek mythology also makes some references to this fruit.

Yes, olives played an important role in many ancient civilizations. It has since then blessed the people with food, medicine, timber and fuel. Such is the role of olives in history. Yes, it has been in use since 3000 BC.

Olives are also considered as emblems for wisdom and peace. You also hear talk about handing out the olive branch – depicting an offer of peace and friendship.

What is the best way to eat olives? Well, what you should remember is that you should not eat it right after you pick it off the tree. Olives should first be processed so as to cut down its bitterness. This natural taste is brought about by oleuropein, a chemical that exists in abundance in olive skin.

[tag] olive flavor[/tag]


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