Contrary To Opinion
Olives do not grow on the tree with the pimento already in them. In fact, most fresh olives tend to be bitter to the point of being unpleasant. After processing by either curing in lye or brining, olives only then have the flavor we are familiar with.
Green olives need to ferment before their brine soak. Black olives do not, giving them a milder flavor than the green ones.
Phenolic compounds in the raw fruit are what makes olives bitter. Fermentation and brining remove those compounds.
Olives As A Whole Food
One would think that olive oil gets more attention than the whole olive fruits. In reality, whole olives are among the most enjoyed foods in the world.
Classified as fruits of the Olea europea tree, olives are not vegetables as many would think. The Olea Europaea is a hardy tree that can live for hundreds of years.
Harvested in September, olives are available year round to make an nice addition to salads, meat and poultry dishes and, of course pizza.
The US produces less than 1/10 of 1 percent of the olive oil in the world.
Georgia was once a big producer of olives in the 1600’s. Spanish settlers planted trees at missions in southeast Georgia in the 1590’s.
Olives were grown in Georgia well into the 1800’s until the Civil War and other problems eliminated the crop.
Georgia observed a resurgence of olive crops in that same area recently.
1 once or about 8 olives contain:
4 g total fat
1 g saturated fat
3.7 g monounsaturated fat
.4 g polyunsaturated fat
436 mg of sodium
1 g carbohydrates
1 g dietary fiber
26.3 mg total Omega-3 fatty acids
340 mg total Omega-6 fatty acids
2% vitamin A
Rates 0 on the glycemic load index
Rates a 24 and are mildly anti-inflammatory
Olives and their oil are an excellent source of (good) fat making it an intelligent substitute for animal fat which has cholesterol in it. I love everything about olives and recommend them completely. – jughandle
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