Curing Fresh Olives

Find out information about obtaining fresh olives and how to cure them at home. From the olive specialists, Penna Gourmet Olives, M&CP Farms, www.GreatOlives.com

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Location: Orland, California, United States

Monday, June 19, 2006

2006 Crop of Fresh Olives

2006 Crop Update, September 6th.. The olives bloomed almost one month later than normal due to weather. We now expect that will mean the first harvest shipping will start about September 20th. The late bloom and rain have resulted in a crop of less volume & smaller fruit size than last year. The Lucques crop will be very short, so if you want these unique olives for curing, place your order as soon as possible (after Sept. 20th.) There will also be none of the "Colossal" sized Sevillanos this year, just "Jumbo", "Extra Large" and "Large".

So don't wait till the last minute to order. Prices will be slightly higher than last years'. Check in at our sales site at http://www.greatolives.com/FreshOlives.htm for the estimated price per box.

You can also check the post for last years crop and you might find answers similar to your own about the curing processes and the answers posted last year by myself, Maurice Penna.

On our website you can also check to see what the prices last year for the different varieties were.

22 Comments:

Blogger Albert said...

Five more days and I can place my order. I tried my hand at curing for the first time last year. I was awesome. A little scared that you use drain cleaner to cure the fruit but as long as you follow the instructions from the 2005 blog, everything will be ok. I like how tender the olive is right after you rinse all the lye off (it takes a few days of rinsing) the olives just melt in your mouth. After you salt them they firm up nicely. Looking forward to sample the 2006 crop.

9/15/2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

Hello Maurice, thanks again for offering fresh olives, last year's turned out fantastic. This year I want to use the lye cure, and I was wondering if I can use a 5 gallon plastic bucket with the lye cure?

Also, after the lye cure is done, and the 2 day brining is done, can I then use a vinegar/salt brine to preserve the olives?

9/20/2006 5:01 PM  
Blogger smigdiggler said...

We would like to come by next sunday and pick up 30# of olives as we will be coming thru your neck of the woods, is it possible to pick up olives on a sunday, or instead of shipping them?

9/21/2006 8:41 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I've been curing olives for years; basing myself on a recipe that I got from my mother.
I first crack the olives using a can of tomatoes (I'm sure any heavy can will do - but tradition dictates). I then put them into a salt water brine, changing the solution every 1-2 days until they are cured (about 2 weeks, but I go by taste). Rinse them thouroghly and then make a salad of the olives, celery, red onion, olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano.
They are addictive. The same people come to me every year to beg me to make again.
I can give more detail, if anyone is interested.

9/25/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Albert said...

I received my olives and have gone all over town trying to find the 100% lye Red Devil for two days & no one has any. I really need to start the curing process before the fruit starts to spoil. I read somewhere that I could use the Crystal form of Drano is this correct & safe? I've always used Red Devil.

10/04/2006 2:46 PM  
Blogger Albert said...

I went to Ace hardware & they don't carry Red Devil or 100% lye anymore, it looks like they think of it as a controled substance because it's used to make Meth. The salesman had a store brand product with 84% lye & 16% inert ingredients - not sure if these mystery ingredients will stay in the olive or leach out with the lye. I was told not to use Drano because it has metal flakes and nitrates. I was able to find 100% lye at a mom&pop store so I bought all of it so I can cure for several years to come. Hopefully it wont expire. Anyway, I made 2 Sevillano batches of 5pounds each. One at 1.5 gallons water with 4tbl of lye. The other is .75 gal water with 2tbl lye. I will soak the first batch for 12 hrs twice and the second for 8hrs twice. I don't want to overcure them. Will keep you posted.

10/04/2006 8:30 PM  
Blogger jmaldonado said...

Does anyone know where we can purchase green olives for curing. We are having a hard time finding them. We are located in the East Bay of Northern California.

10/05/2006 9:31 PM  
Blogger Paolo said...

I had been unable to locate lye in my city too. However, on Monday, I was driving through another part of my state and stopped in a small town to buy gas. I noticed an old general store next door, and bought the 3 cannisters of "Rooto" that is marked as 100% lye, so I bought three containers. Seeing that there seems to be a lye shortage I checked eBay and found quite a bit of it for sale. Another resource for lye would be someone who makes home made soaps, because they also use lye. Good luck

10/06/2006 2:01 PM  
Blogger Paolo said...

I couldn't find lye in my town, but happened to be driving through a small town on Monday and found some "Rooto" brand 100% lye in a hardware store. I can suggest 3 places you might look

1
An old fashioned hardware store [the Lowes and Home Depot stores in my town didn't have it]

2
eBay - I just checked found lots of it for sale

3
A soapmaking website or group. Lye is used in making homemade soaps.

Good luck!

10/06/2006 2:15 PM  
Blogger Paolo said...

I couldn't find lye in my town, but happened to be driving through a small town on Monday and found some "Rooto" brand 100% lye in a hardware store. I can suggest 3 places you might look

1
An old fashioned hardware store [the Lowes and Home Depot stores in my town didn't have it]

2
eBay - I just checked found lots of it for sale

3
A soapmaking website or group. Lye is used in making homemade soaps.

Good luck!

10/06/2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger Paolo said...

I had been unable to locate lye in my city too. I did locate some {"Rooto" brand 100% lye], in a small general store in a small town when I stopped for gas on a weekend trip. I can suggest 3 places you might look

1
An old fashioned hardware store [the Lowes and Home Depot stores in my town didn't have it]

2
eBay - I just checked found lots of it for sale

3
A soapmaking website or group. Lye is used in making homemade soaps.

Good luck!

10/06/2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger MS said...

Hi Maurice,
I was wondering for how many pounds of olives is the partida recipe for.
Also, the olives have been darkening a bit more every day now - 9th day. Is that normal?
One last question - How long can I keep the olives in the partida FINISH BRINE with or without the spices?
Thanks

Marios

10/23/2006 7:49 PM  
Blogger Birzeit said...

why would any one want to use lye to cure olives is beyond me. My family have been curing olives for centuries using the good old water soaking for couple of weeks.

10/29/2006 12:39 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Help! I water-soaked my olives for two weeks, changing the water every day and then transferred them to jars with brine. I tasted them after a week and they're still very bitter. Many of them (particularly the ones I slit with a knife instead of crushed) are still bright green. I can let them sit in the brine for longer, but I was thinking that maybe I should change out the brine and put new brine in and this might decrease the bitterness. Any ideas?

10/31/2006 2:31 PM  
Blogger Albert said...

You should post the exact instructions for your century old water cure. I'm sure it involves more than letting the olive sit in water for a few weeks. Do you rinse?, how many weeks exactly. How do you prevent bacterial growth? How do you know they are ready? When do you salt and spice them? If you're gonna post, how about giving us some useful info.

10/31/2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger steamoven.net said...

Why do you have to cure olives. I have never seen fresh olives or an olive tree. Is there something that curing does to the fruit. Sorry for the ignorance, just not many olive trees in New Orleans.

Chad
Steam Oven Recipes Cooking

11/22/2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger jurious said...

I agree with Birzeit -- why would anyone ever want to cure olives in lye? It leaches the flavor right out of the olives. I didn't use a can of tomatoes for smashing green olives, but I did help my grandfather break the skin open with a hammer. I broke with tradition, though and decided a slice with a knife could accomplish the same purpose without destroying the shape of the olive. I then place them in a brine solution, changing it every week for about a month. Make sure to keep them from being exposed to air, and they cure beautifully. I store them in jars with a brine solution and cover the tops with olive oil. Add some oregano to each jar, garlic if you like, a hot pepper is also optional. I give them as Christmas presents and everyone loves them. They remember the traditional olives and I do the work for them, but that's fine.

1/18/2007 6:57 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Hi Maurice, I wrote to you last year about a problem I had with canning lye cured olives, they came out with a horrible smell and taste. I tried it twice with the same disastrous results. I had all but given up on canning olives. I invited a friend over for BBQ and his wife happens to be a food chemistry professor ( I didn’t know there was such a thing), when I told her about my bad experience with the olives, she said “you’re a liar aren’t you?”, I said excuse me? No I mean lye as in sodium hydroxide, yes I cured my olives with lye, the conversation went on and on with 25 letter chemistry words that I couldn’t pronounce let alone remember. It turns out that I did not rinse the olives well enough and they had traces of lye still in them when I canned them, which caused the bad results. She told me about an indicator I could use to tell when the olives are properly cured and when the lye has completely leached out of the olives. It is called PHENOLPHTHALEIN INDICATOR, it turns a bright pink in the presence of sodium hydroxide, you can tell exactly when the lye reaches the pit. My first batch took 12 hours to reach the pit and my second took 10 hours, I started checking after 9 hours. When I thought I had rinsed the olives properly I checked them with the indicator and found a slight trace of pink and rinsed the olives for 2 more days, I checked them again and had no indication, I brined them and canned them. Lo! And Behold! Ta DA! And all that stuff, the olives came out beautiful!

For all you “lye’rs” out there here are some of the sources I have found:

Phenolphthalein Indicator, www.vwr.com choose the united states page and in the search box insert 73150-038, it comes in a 65 ml dripper bottle, mixed and all ready to use for 13 bucks.

Food grade sodium hydroxide flakes: www.aaa-chemicals.com 5 Lbs. For 8 bucks, what a deal!

And finally a document from UC Davis on preserving debittered olives:

http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/2019/4249.pdf

4/21/2007 10:25 AM  
Blogger Mom-in-Waiting said...

I am so glad that I found your site and your blog!!!

My grandfather had olive trees and cured the best olives I have ever tasted. I was feeling nostalgic and started to wander around the internet to see if I could find someone who sold raw olives!!

Now...if it was only fall!!

6/18/2007 12:11 PM  
Blogger jeff said...

curing my first batch with lye
does anyone have canning
instructions?
thanks
laurie
santa rosa

winklaur@sbcglobal.net

10/14/2007 8:32 PM  
Blogger Maurice Penna said...

gaffer...
posted your comment in the 2007 blog, Maurice will answer soon

GreatOlives computer guy

10/14/2007 9:53 PM  
Blogger mott groom said...

i just ordered the green sevillano olive and would like to know how i cure them to produce a olive dolce, or sweet olive, with no sourness.

10/21/2007 3:49 PM  

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