The Fruits Of Our Labour

Some of you may recall that a few months ago we began the process of pickling/curing our olives. The olives have been sitting in a salt bath (a 10% salt solution) and the brine changed regularly over the past four weeks or so. Today we tasted a few olives from one of the buckets of fruit – the one that held the riper of the olives – and they were amazing – salty (as they should be at this stage) but tasty and no hint of bitter acid. The remaining buckets of fruit will need just a few more days of soaking then they too will be ready to finish processing.

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Once the bitterness has leached away the next step in the process is to rinse off the heavy salt water brine and prepare a new mix of water, salt and vinegar. The rinsed olives are loosely packed in a sterilised jar, the new salt/vinegar brine is poured over to cover the olives and a layer of olive oil seals the mix. The jars are then stored in a cupboard/pantry for about one month. At this point the flavours will have matured and the olives are ready to eat – just rinse off required amount (some say leave olives in plain water in the fridge for 24 hours to leach some of the salt away), then sprinkle with herbs/flavourings of your choice – chilli or red capsicum, garlic or lemon juice and  finish with a dash of olive oil and let marinade in fridge for a few hours before ready to eat. YUM!

 

The jars of olives in the vinegar/salt water brine will keep for about a year in the pantry. Hopefully they will last until next seasons fruit is harvested…but I am not sure about that, they are so delicious.

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