Marinated green olives are a delicacy with innumerable variations.
Every family treasures its own recipes and secrets around the preparation of this emblematic Andalusian dish. We prefer to harvest our “aceitunas de manzanilla” very early, this year in the beginning of October.
The first step in converting the olive into an edible fruit, is to treat it, if one wants. Olives can be marinated as a whole, cut (sajada) or crushed (machacada – my favourite).
The second step is “sweetening” it to get rid of the extreme bitterness. This, of course, has nothing to do with sugar, but all to do with the purest water one can find. For a period of some days you leave the olives in water, changing it everyday, until trying to eat one does not anymore feel unpleasant.
When the olives are now “sweet” (which just means “not too bitter anymore” and which is where opinions already start to differ), they are ready to be marinated.
Here the spectrum, apart from the use of the finest available sea salt, starts to vary wildly – from all of the wild herbs that are collected throughout the year, to the presence or absence of a spice like cumin and the use of vegetables like peppers or garlic and the addition of some other secret, everything is possible.
Herbs like thyme and fennel, that ripen at the same time as the olive does and are marvellous companions, are naturally included in the dressing of the olives, proving that nature provides for the ones that know to read her.
Depending on the processes applied, the olives need days to weeks to be ready for consumption.
We have been enjoying ours now for some weeks and, well, we love our snacks of fresh oil, olives, some warm bread, a glass of Sherry and maybe some capers or anchovies.
What is still left will be available from the end of January via our contact page. Except, of course, you join the family – a glass of this marvel is included in every REVOLT subscription we receive.