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,

Location: Orland, California, United States

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

2007 Fresh Olive Crop

Great Fresh Olive Crop for 2007!!

The 2007 fresh olive crop is coming along nicely. We intend to keep fresh olive prices as low as they were in 2005. This will help as shipping fees have increased.

We started taking orders on September 10, 2007. The orders for green fresh olives ended 10-21-07. Fresh black olives may be ready in early November. The availability of the different types and sizes is always dependent on variables not always in our control, such as weather. But we will do our best to have the most current information posted on our website. Check the Fresh Olive web page , to see if the online order form is active. The order form for each of the different varieties will be enabled as each becomes available, and will later be disabled when we run out or the season ends.

Each year we get more customers interested in home curing their own olives, so if you are really interested, please don't wait too long to order.


Blogger flora said...

We are waiting to place our orders for unripe and ripe fresh olives.

1) I want to know if I can use the 5 gallon paint pails I got from Lowes for the lye cure process. I usually only use water changed once every 6 hours for 2-3 weeks to get rid of the oleuropeurin. Then I cure with salt and spices. I have not done lye cured for many years.

2) I am also looking for a ripe olive recipe for the Morrocan dried and salty style, and the Greek oil cured style. Which type of olive cultivar do I need for the ripe oil cured or dried olives?
Do I use the lye proccess on these ripe olives? Any ideas?

Will I need to acidify the ripe olives? I usually add a little vinegar to retard mold and bacterial growth in my Sicilian unripe cracked olives.

9/10/2007 5:10 PM  
Blogger Maurice Penna said...

1.plastic pial is fine.
2.manzanilla variety can be used for dry oil cured process, mission would be best but unavailable. the dry morrocan olive is processed with lye first but I am not real familar with the process. an olive that is in brine will benifit from the addition of a .5% vinegar.

9/13/2007 1:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Can I brine-cure the Lucques or must they be cured with lye first?

9/14/2007 4:32 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

I would like to lye cure olives to give as Christmas gifts. After the curing and brining process, how long will the olives keep in the refrigerator? I understand it's not advisable to can them due to such low acidity.
If they won't keep that long will you still have green olives available closer to Christmas?

9/18/2007 2:19 PM  
Blogger Sandra DelBello said...

mslrboOctober 7, 2007 - Hello Maurice, Today I am packing my olives in my jars to enjoy this winter. They are beautiful this year - bigger than in past years. I pack them in quart jars using 1 tablespoon salt and covering them with water. By Thanksgiving we will enjoy them with our dinner. Thank you so much for contacting me last year as I was afraid I was going to lose them due to our Surprise October storm I wasn't able to get to them right away and they started to wrinkle and turn purple. You were kind enough to call me and let me know they would not be a total loss. And--they were fine, just not as pretty as they usually are. Thanks again.

10/07/2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger KB said...

I'm so glad to have found this site.
my mom brine cured olives for years and the past few years I have started doing my own. We have never used lye and have had good results. Mom taught me to crack each olive with a heavy glass. I chuckle and can still hear her saying. don't hit them to hard or you will bruise them. If you don't hit them hard enough you will bruise them because you will have to hit them again!
I can still see the "Look" when she would see me giving an olive an extra hit when it didn't break open the first time. I noticed someone mentioning that they just slice each olive before soaking in the brine. I would love to try that but am afraid the brine won't soak in as well. Anyone ever just cut into the olive instead of hitting them to crack them? Well I better get back to my case of olives! I will soak them for a few days changing the water daily and then place in jars with garlic and water.

10/08/2007 12:43 PM  
Blogger Albert2000 said...

I have the same question about slicing the green Sevillano instead of cracking them with a mallet. I know you slice the black olives but not sure why not the greens (?). I just recieved my olives today I'll do a third with lye, a third cracked, and a third sliced in case I mess up, i'll still have some edibles. I'm also worried about the cracking method, wont the olive rot while we are letting it sit there for weeks on end waiting for the bitternes to leach out?

10/09/2007 6:32 PM  
Blogger Maurice Penna said...

(from the 2006 blog)
gaffer said...

curing my first batch with lye
does anyone have canning
santa rosa
10/14/2007 8:32 PM

10/14/2007 9:50 PM  
Blogger Albert2000 said...

Each year I use a weaker Lye solution to avoid overcuring. This time I used 4tbls lye for 1.5 gal water for 6hrs. I did another bath for 12hrs. Some of the olives were yellow and very soft on the side. I probably didn't mix the lye in the water well enough so i'm guessing some of the olives were sitting directly over the lye, or maybe the plastic bucket I placed over the olives to weight them down was too heavy causing the bottom olives to squish (?). I started the rinsing process Friday. I took about 1/3 of the olives to try the water cure method. I cracked them with a wooden mallet and put them in water. The cracked area is turning a dark grey that is expanding daily, they also have a weird odor, I'm guessing this is normal I hope, I've been changing the water daily. I'll keep you posted on the progress of both batches. This is my 3rd year curing and I'm trying to wean myself from the lye. We'll see.

10/15/2007 6:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've been curing Olives for years first as I've learned it from my grandmother where an olive is cracked open, but with big green olives I slice them with a sharp paring knife. Usually three slices from top to bottom equally distanced from each other. I soak them in water and change the water daily for about 7 days or until the water starts to look clear. I then use my grandmother’s time honored recipe for brine which is adding enough salt to water that would allow an uncooked egg to float (egg float) in the salt water. This recipe is hundreds if not thousands of years old and is extensively used in Palestine where olives are a daily stable. I then pack the olives with quarter pieces of lemon and hot green peppers add salt brine and a quarter inch of oil to seal the olives and brine then seal the jar. With this recipe you should be able to store and enjoy your olives for over a year. Oh yeah,.. the only use that my grandmother had for lye is to mix it with olive oil to make soap.

10/18/2007 8:00 AM  
Blogger Albert2000 said...

The batch of Lye cured olives is ready. By day five the brown was gone and all that was left was the green olive pigment, i soaked them another day and the water was clear. I soaked a seventh day until the water came out clear to make absolutely sure there was no trace of lye. I just finished putting 6tbs salt to 1 gallon of water. I'll let them soak for 24hrs before I do another fresh brine bath for another 24hrs. I saved half of my fresh olives to try my hand at water curing. The cracked olives are now totally brown with no green. It's day 7 and they look nasty. I really don't know if this is how it's supposed to look but I'll keep rinsing them in fresh water daily. I hope I don't get botulism.

10/20/2007 7:03 PM  
Blogger Lenora said...

I want to make cured olives this the first time doing it,could someone please the recipe.I also want to grow an olive tree from the stones does anyone know how to do that?Where could I buy a small olive tree and could it be shipped to Canada.

10/22/2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger Kathy Hattori said...

Dear Maurice,

Re: Olives fermented with lactic acid

Is live acidophilus in powder form an acceptable substitute for the lactic acid found in fresh, raw sauerkraut? In other words, can we add acidophilus to our vinegar brine solution? We are using the fermented olive recipe from UC Davis home pickling of olives, and your Sevillanos and Luques.

Thank you,

Kathy and Richard

10/23/2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger Maurice Penna said...

I do not know if acidophilus will work. But the olive has a natural bloom of bacteria on it that will initiate fermintation. Also do not add vinegar to the brine on start up because it will inhibite fermintation and spoilage organism will prevale.

10/24/2007 9:05 AM  
Blogger Maurice Penna said...

Growing olives from the pit will not give a clone of the parent, you have to do vegitative propagation or grafting if you want a specific cultivar.

10/24/2007 9:08 AM  
Blogger Maurice Penna said...

Growing olives from the pit will not give a clone of the parent, you have to do vegitative propagation or grafting if you want a specific cultivar.

10/24/2007 9:08 AM  
Blogger sarah k. said...

I ordered fresh olives last week, and they haven't come yet, but I've never cured olives before. Do I need to start the curing right when they get here? Or can I store them for a couple of days? If so, how do I store them?

10/25/2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger PrairieBlog said...

Can I refrigerate the olives for 2 weeks before curing them?

10/25/2007 4:35 PM  
Blogger Albert2000 said...

I'm not sure if they will be preserved in the fridge but I suggest you lye cure them within a couple days since they are a fresh fruit. Does anyone know if the water cured olives are supposed to turn brown after a few weeks of rinsing? Mine went from green to brown and I just want to know if this is normal or should I trash them. I used the rolling pin to crack them method.

10/26/2007 8:27 PM  
Blogger Maurice Penna said...

When you crack the olives there is extensive bruising and the olives will turn a brownish color but they are fine. You want to keep them under the liquid so no spoiage organism starts.

10/27/2007 8:26 AM  
Blogger fatdaddy said...

I got a gift of some cracked green olives from a friend today and his Mom made them. I told him how I used to cure green olives with lye and such and he seemed confused.
How is his Mom curing these olives? I only knew the method with lye. He claims that she just wacks them and packs them...there has to be more to it,no?Thanks in advance.

11/01/2007 4:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

First Time Curing Olives

I picked up four pounds of medium sized olives at Caputo's, a fresh fruit market outside Chicago (Maurice, I promise I'll order from you next year...I was just to late this year :-). Not sure of the variety, but they appear to be medium sized and half red/green skinned.

After washing and soaking in water overnight, I mixed up a brine (enough salt to float an egg) and packed the olives into two gallon sized glass pickling jars with the spring loaded rubber gasket seals. I put a plastic lid with holes into the neck of the jars to keep the olives submerged. I left a small area of air, about half an inch, at the top.

NOTE: I did not slice or crack the olives prior to brining them.

I've placed the olives in our cool dark pantry.

My question is...what do I do next?

How often should I change the brine?

Given the fact that the olives were not sliced or crushed, how long will it take before they are ready to eat?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.



11/04/2007 1:40 PM  
Blogger sarah k. said...

Moshe, there's an article in the New York Times with a recipe for brine-cured olives that might help.

11/04/2007 5:41 PM  

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