About black olives…

by Miranda on

OlivesLast week Jennifer and I had a visitor that stayed for dinner. Our quest enjoyed the dinner very much, but there was one thing she had a remark about: The olives that I served with the dinner!
According her these olives weren’t of the best quality. As she always had these shiny uniform coloured black olives. Those were the real good ones and those more greenish pale coloured I had were not.

I had some bad news for her!

The olives I served were brought back from Lesvos by Marissa and Richard, who spent their vacation there.

The thing is those deep dark shiny olives don’t exist, not by nature anyway.

Maybe lets first see what the difference is between green and black olives. The colour shows how ripe the olives were when they were picked. Green olives are picked before riping and black olives when they are ripe, which is when the colour turns black.
Lets right away make a point here: Ripe olives are not black, they are more dark purple and are not uniform in colour (how much depends on the species). So these ripe “black” olives are not the deep black uniform coloured olives you can buy in the supermarket.

The shiny black olives from the supermarket are really green olives that are treated during the curing with calcium chloride salts, iron salts (ferrous gluconate). This gives them the dark shiny colour and they are this way faster edible.

There are some health concerns about calcium chloride salts and ferrous gluconate going around, but I don’t know how serious these have to be taken. But a fact is that olives treated with this salts lose in taste. This special strong taste the olives normally have is lost and that is a big pity. So taste was sacrificed here for how the olives look.
Of course the big Olive Companies in California will try to convince you other wise. But those who have tasted the “real natural” olives from Greece or Italy know better!


And oh, since our visit to Lesvos the Kolovi olive is my favourite, closely followed by the Kalamata.

For your trivia: Olives are fruits. Yes, they are *SMILE* .

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Greek products we love

by Marion on

Greek products
Through our visits to Greece Rob and I learned that this country has a number of products that we started to love. And for most of them we found luckily Dutch (web-) shops that imports these products and sell them to private persons. And so we can get Greek products we like a lot quite easily.

Today Rob picked up a new delivery of Greek products that we ordered.

Our Greek products delivery of today

Of course olives! We both love olives and specially those from Lesvos, which are of the Kolovi breed. This is the most common olive tree variety on the island. It amounts to 70% of the island’s olive tree total and grows in the southern and eastern regions of Lesvos. For me, and I think for Rob as well, these are the best olives we ever had.
Normally we always have olives in brine, which is the most common. But this time we also ordered organic olives enriched with garlic and thyme. We never had those before and when we saw those on the webshop we became curious.

When talk olives, we talk about olive oil. Eirini Plomariou is a very fine olive oil. Very rich of taste. Don’t use it for baking or anything alike. This olive oil is for salads, for with bread and such. And as the olives, this oil is also organic prepared.

The Greek oregano is also in an organic way grown. I never tasted an oregano before that was so rich and full. Rob used it in the past hardly when he was preparing food and now he use it whenever he can, but only this Greek oregano.

Mountain tea (Macedonian Sideritis) is said to have a positive effect on almost anything that ails, but it is most often used for colds, respiratory problems, digestion, the immune system, mild anxiety and as an anti-oxidant. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory and to reduce fever.
And with honey (Greek honey of course *SMILE* ) it tastes also very good.

Normally we almost never drink tea from bags, but Mel advised us to try this organic herbals tea with cinnamon, clove and saffron. We still have to try it, but we both are curious.

Specially for me this handmade soap named Benessere, made of donkey milk combined with calendula, lemon and mandarin. The vitamin A and E in seems to be very good for your skin. But I like it softness and how it refreshes your skin.

And of course one of those olive wood bowl and spoon. They can be used for everything… nuts, candy, side dishes and lots more. They just look great.

Well, this should keeps us going for some time :-)




(Credit photo: Rob)

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