Tiny-green-olives_tsakistes

21 Reasons to Love Olives

O, Olive, How Do I Love Thee? Let me Count the Ways!

21 reasons to love one of the world’s oldest foods.

ANCIENT OLIVE HARVEST 

O, olive, I love thee for your ancient wisdom and because you’re one of the oldest continuously savored foods in the world.

O, olive, I love thee because the Mediterranean Diet wouldn’t be the same without you.

O, olive I love thee because you’re born of a beautiful tree that grows and bears fruit for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

 

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O, olive, I love thee for your fruit and your juice all the same, for both are health-giving sources of nutrition and the foundation of our Greek-Mediterranean table.

O, olive, I love thee because you are a symbol of friendship, for to eat bread and olives with another human being is the metaphor for civilized discourse.

meze_ouzo_octopus_olives

O, olive, I love thee for your peace-giving branches, which the world could use in large supply right now.

O, olive, I love thee because you’re the essence of contradictions, bitter and inedible when raw, but succulent and delicious when cured.

O, olive, I love thee because you’re diverse like us humans. You come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, smooth, wrinkled, sweet, bitter, round, oblong, oval, pointy, plump, tight, reddish, green, black, brown, even purple.

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 O, olive, I love thee because you’re edible, potable and dessertable! You’re anything imaginable: The perfect snack, the bottom of a cocktail, the garnish on a salad, the filling in a pie or bread, the final touch on a soup, the secret ingredient in a sauce or casserole, the crunch in a chicken stew, the tang in a fish dish, the salt of the earth in countless ways and even a sweet end, put up in syrup and spooned over ice cream.

Salmon Baked with tomatoes and Greek olives

O, olive, I love thee because you can take a cure, crunchy if preserved in brine, softer, almost velvety if set in olive oil, and full of flavor even when you’re swimming in lesser emollients.

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O, olive I love thee because I can tell you to stuff it with out misunderstanding! 

STUUFED-GREEN-OLIVES

O, olive, I love thee mashed and swirled into mayo, Hollandaise sauce be damned!

O, olive, I love thee with figs, which often grow near you from equally ancient trees. Pounded together you’re perfecto puree! 

FIG-OLIVE-TAPENADE

O, olive I love thee because you’re great in a grill pan, warm and sweetly acidic.

O, olive, I love thee because your most famous variety is Greek, the king of the table, Kalamata.

O, olive, I love thee because I cherish my aging self in you: Even wrinkled you’re beautiful!

O, olive, I love thee because you’re official name is so seductive it sounds like a first-rate restaurant: Let’s go to Olea europea baby!

O, olive, I love thee because you’re a tiny powerhouse of phytonutrients especially rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, good for my bones, my heart, my circulation.

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O, olive, I love you because you’re grouped with the drupes which are some of my favorite fruits! Mangoes, peaches and plums, cherries, apricots, almonds  pistachios, and you, Olea europea

O, olive, I love you because even your pit is useful, as fodder in the bread ovens of Greek village bakers.

O, olive, I love you because you’re so old, cultivated here in Greece for at least 5,000 years, and yet eating you keeps me…young. So, dear readers, try my favorite olive dishes. Please! 

 

 

 

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