Oh, Luscious Drupe!
April 5, 2005 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Olives have a taste that is older than wine.
A stand-alone appetizer, these drupes are fine.
One of the first accomplishments of civilized man,
Now they are harvested in many a land.
This fruit of the tree that feeds the child,
Are oft' sour and tangy, definitely not mild.
Olives are known to make you look and feel great.
While those who don't love them are prone to debate.
They're artsy and craftsy, some virginal, some not.
And you can stuff 'em with just about anything you've got.
posted by debralee (35 comments total)
Mmm, olives. If only you could make booze out of them somehow, they'd be nature's perfect food.
posted by gurple at 12:45 PM on April 5, 2005

Mmmmmmmmmmm Olives...
posted by OneOliveShort at 12:45 PM on April 5, 2005 [1 favorite]

I wish I liked olives. I've tried. But I can't. They're part of the evil trifecta: olives, celery, caraway seeds.
posted by Kimberly at 12:58 PM on April 5, 2005

Olives are best served in a glass with gin and vermouth.

Nice post.
posted by bondcliff at 1:01 PM on April 5, 2005

Great post! Now we'll get people posting about how stupid Bush is, but in sonnet form or something. Now, Petrarchan or Shakespearean...
posted by goatdog at 1:14 PM on April 5, 2005

Bush is stupid, but I love olives!!
Where do you find the connection, Goatdog?
posted by Balisong at 1:27 PM on April 5, 2005

i like the green ones, but not the black ones
posted by poppo at 1:29 PM on April 5, 2005

It's fun to buy some decent olives and marinate them yourself.

Take a couple cups of Kalamata, picholine, or cracked green--whatever you like. Add a cup of good olive oil (people who say "evoo" should be lightly sauted) some lemon juice, and then go to town. Garlic , dried thyme and a little rosemary? Some dried oregano, basil and a little vinager, maybe. I've always liked lemon peel with big ol' green olives. Epicurious recommends fennel and orange peel, but who keeps caper berries around?

Easy to make ahead, and adds a nice touch to having a drink.
posted by allan at 1:40 PM on April 5, 2005

I buy em by the pound at the gourmet grocery. I especially like the green ones stuffed with feta or garlic. yum. While you're marinating them in that lemon juice, allan, grate a little of that lemon peel with your microplane, and you'll be happy.
posted by crunchland at 1:43 PM on April 5, 2005

...er... as I see you already knew. curse you, short attention span!
posted by crunchland at 1:44 PM on April 5, 2005

I love this post.

...and olives!

I was at the open-air Italian market in Philadelphia a few years back, and there was a shop there that sold nothing but olives, pickles and capers. The various savories were in large wooden barrels, and you just scooped up as much as you wanted and paid per pound.

Needless, I was akin to the metaphorical bull in the china shop, and went rather nuts scooping up every sort of olive I could find. Thery were all wonderful, but there was this one variety that still stands out. They were small, and pickled on the stems. They had a spare amount of flesh, being mostly pit, and they were garlicky and spicy - pairing really well as a snack with fresh parmesan and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

I have no idea what these olives were called, or where I could get my hands on some in Texas, but every time I pass by a reasonable olive selection in a market, I am compelled to pause and search for them.
posted by kaseijin at 1:48 PM on April 5, 2005

My wife and I have become real olive junkies lately, and we have also started marinating our own. Very high in calories per unit mass though, no?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:57 PM on April 5, 2005

There's a guy in Salmon Idaho who makes Atomic Olives, stuffed with the jalepenos. They go boom in your mouth alrighty! Very Tasty. I understand he also makes Atomic Olives with habenaro, but I haven't tried those.

("Now this is a multi-linked post I can get into", he says, sipping his gin to get to the greeny goodness that waits ...)
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:58 PM on April 5, 2005

[incoming thread hijack in T minus 3...2...]

Ah Wulfgar! - if you like the gin, I suggest (assuming you have not already) a cucumber gin & tonic.

It sounds vile (and if you use ordinary gin, it is!), but a friend of mine recently turned me on to them. Same as a regular gin & tonic, but use cucumber gin and substitute a slice of cucumber for the lime.

The cucumber, surprisingly, does not taste overmuch like salad, but instead brings to bear some of the unique characteristics of the cucumber gin. It's a very refreshing drink.

[we now return you to the thread, already in progress]
posted by kaseijin at 2:08 PM on April 5, 2005

Olives! My favorite.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:20 PM on April 5, 2005

The "connection," which really isn't one at all, is that the poetic form of this post may very well open up new vistas for MetaFilter. Since a favorite topic is Bush-bashing, I was envisioning future glory days of presidential hatred in classical poetic form. A sestina about Karl Rove? A villanelle about Cheney? The sky is the limit, my friends.
posted by goatdog at 2:22 PM on April 5, 2005

I really love green olives, but the black ones just have a weird texture. And no matter which pricey, imported varieties I buy, they are never as good as the ones I have tasted abroad. Same with pistachio nuts.
posted by fire&wings at 2:36 PM on April 5, 2005

I used to not like olives, then I spent a year in some Mediterrenan countries (Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Israel, Cypress) and now olives are one of my favorite foods. The variety is just amazing. One of the best experiences was going to a small, local olive press and dipping bread in the oil coming right out of the spigot of the press. Amazing.
posted by chaz at 2:41 PM on April 5, 2005

Bush is mean
olives are green
Bush is stupid
I hate him
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 3:09 PM on April 5, 2005

Olive trees are a living history throughout the old world. They say that in some areas the trees date back to Roman times.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:16 PM on April 5, 2005

George Bush wouldn't know an olive branch if it kicked him in the balls.
posted by crunchland at 3:23 PM on April 5, 2005

There was a kid born in Connecticut
With a silver spoon stuck up his pasty... nose.
His youth was ill spent,
He's a crap president,
But olives? I'd love to eat those!
posted by naomi at 3:36 PM on April 5, 2005

Everything you need to know about starting your own olive orchard (geared mostly to California) here.

" ... buy raw land and level, deep till, fumigate, and install an irrigation system. Get help for irrigation needs by contacting Farming Suppliers. To get enough olives to bother milling, buy at least 2 acres. You will probably want to plant 5 acres or more if you are thinking of making a commercial venture of it and from 100 to 500 acres to support a family (upwards of 5000 trees). For planting schemes visit this site: Antonio."
posted by Jos Bleau at 3:36 PM on April 5, 2005

There once was a fleshy olive pit
which was fed to a well-known git
(his last name is Bush)
in the hopes that from his toosh
a tree'd sprout while taking a shit.
posted by pmbuko at 3:46 PM on April 5, 2005

only because goatdog asked for it...
posted by pmbuko at 3:48 PM on April 5, 2005

Thanks for making me salivate like mad.
Oh, and thanks for the Austin Chronicle link, I haven't been to Phoenicia Deli in a long time, and I didn't know about their olive selection.

/tangent Oh man, but Central Market's got these marinated artichokes in their olive bar... good lord... it's like you died and went to Mount Olympus.
posted by blendor at 4:40 PM on April 5, 2005

Olives are earthy, dirty sex food. Like the sting of raw garlic and the robust, manly sweat of an aged and unpasteurised cheese. Like the endorphin carnival of the pickled chilli or the sea-salt stab of the noble anchovy; like the bruised, genital flesh of a ripe, gritty fig.

Olives please the adult palate and terrify the unsophisticated and the incorrigibly sweet of tooth. Respect the mighty olive.
posted by Decani at 5:54 PM on April 5, 2005

Dang Decani. Earthy dirty sex food. Now Im going to have to go and have dirty sex, and a gin and tonic.
posted by BadSeamus at 7:00 PM on April 5, 2005

A great post! Forget your madelines; it's olives that evoke. I remember sitting long drowsy summer evenings in Madrid at an outdoor cafe, with acetunas, pan y queso, and a nice copa of Rioja. It took me an hour to track that cafe down: Cafe Restaurante Espejo, just up the street from the famous Cafe Gigon.
posted by mono blanco at 7:26 PM on April 5, 2005

said bush, "olives are big white house hits"
"i hate him," said the mefite misfits
oh yeah? (i like these green ones)
they think we're the mean ones?
let's hope they choke on their pits
posted by margarita at 7:54 PM on April 5, 2005

I wish I liked olives. I've tried. But I can't. They're part of the evil trifecta: olives, celery, caraway seeds.

I second that. They're too salty and pungent for me. The oil's a different story - that I like. Especially on a hot crepe maker mmmmmmmm. Cool post though!
posted by yoga at 5:22 AM on April 6, 2005

They're part of the evil trifecta: olives, celery, caraway seeds.

Caraway seeds I like. The evil trifecta is olives, celery and iceberg lettuce.
posted by jonmc at 7:05 AM on April 6, 2005

No no no. The evil trifecta is cauliflower, brussels sprouts and fennel (anything that tastes even slightly of aniseed makes me feel like I've been sucking dirty old medicine spoons).
posted by Decani at 7:44 AM on April 6, 2005

Celery comes with that neat built-in little groove; perfect for holding Cheez Whiz, peanut butter, or Ranch dressing, all of which make celery taste much better.
posted by debralee at 9:31 AM on April 6, 2005

I can understand how someone might not relish brussel sprouts or fennel, even though I like them both.

But I can't see how cauliflower could offend anyone, unless it's cooked wrong - like steamed or boiled until it's a squishy mess, and then covered up with melted cheese. But if you break it up, tossed in olive oil, and then roasted in the oven, it turns out sweet and yummy.
posted by crunchland at 9:36 AM on April 6, 2005

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