"Shaken, not stirred," the famous catchphrase by James Bond, enjoyed a Vesper Martini with a skewer of plump green olives on a cocktail pick. Olives have maintained an iconic reputation due to bartenders offering a selection of olive-garnished drinks and its immense popularity among the elite.
Love or hate them, olives remain one of the top all-time favorite foods, and if you enjoy them, there is no wrong time to munch on a salty, briny olive.
Olives are not a vegetable; they are a small round fruit that grows on an olive tree; they are considered stone fruits or drupes. Mangos, peaches, dates, almonds, and pistachios are part of the same family. Olives have many nutritional benefits; they are a good source of dietary fiber and a natural iron source. They range in color from green, purple, dark brown, black, and some are pink!. Olives contain 20% oil and 80% water and a great source of Vitamin A, E, K, and B.
Olives are the ultimate heart-healthy snack as they are high in healthy fats, and these healthy fats are used to make olive oil, a key ingredient in the popular and healthy Mediterranean Diet!
Have you tasted a raw olive? Imagine picking a raw olive straight off a sun-ripened tree and taking a bite. Suppose you're expecting a salty taste with a crunchy texture. In that case, you're in for a shock due to the water-soluble compound called Oleuropein, a powerful antioxidant and a protective mechanism found inside the olive. Raw olives are intensely bitter and essentially make the olive inedible. They can only become edible once the bitterness has been removed by curing. There are various methods of curing, including water-cured, oil-cured, brine-cured, lye-cured, and dry-cured.
Here are a few fun facts about olives you might not know. Olives date back to biblical times, and the olive tree is mentioned throughout the scriptures. For the Ancient Greeks, the olive tree has long been considered sacred, and the olive branch has been a symbol of "peace" across the World.
The botanical name for The Olive is Olea europaea, meaning' European olive,' is an evergreen and can live up to 1,500 years and continue producing fruit. The olive tree is one of the oldest cultivated trees on the planet with an average lifespan of about 500 years, and the oldest olive tree (3000-5000 years old) in the World is said to be The Olive tree of Vouves, in Crete, Greece.
The name Olive has a Latin origin meaning "peace." The name has been around since 1880 and took a more feminine form of Olivia. The name grew in popularity in 1987 and nearly doubled in growth around 1990.
Since the early 1990s, there has been an exponential increase in the global consumption of olive oil.
The International Olive Council was formed in 1959 to determine the international standards for the grade of olive oil and, more importantly, find solutions to the sustainable development of growing olives worldwide. Did you know that the highest quality of olive oil made without chemicals is Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Next time you're shopping for olive oil, look at the different shades of color with olive oil; the deeper the shade means, the more intense the flavor will be.
There are many countries across the globe that produce olive oil. The largest olive producer comes from the European Union. Spain is the World's leading olive producer and also the largest EU exporter of olive oil. As for our homegrown olives, California's climate is similar to the Mediterranean, making it the largest olive producer in the US. Other states that grow olives are Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Oregan, and Hawaii.
Olives have been used for a variety of things but mostly for cosmetics, culinary cooking, supplements, and medicinal uses. Its antibacterial agents have been a key ingredient in stabilizing cosmetic formulations in lotions, soaps, creams, shampoos, and other cosmetic products. Maybe that's why many Europeans apply olive oil to their skin, hair, and some people drink it daily to keep the body running efficiently.
There are so many great ways to enjoy olives, in salads, as a snack with cheese and nuts, a sandwich, chopped in a spread with feta cheese and Greek yogurt, or as a garnish on a Bloody Mary or Martini!
We want to share a favorite recipe that we enjoy. Olive Bruschetta is a guilt-free way to enjoy a crusty baguette with finely chopped green or black olives mixed into the bowl. It's a light appetizer that's perfect for pairing with a crisp white wine, allowing the tomatoes and olives' flavor to be enhanced.
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- ¼ cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup chopped red or white onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup Feta cheese crumbles
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 loaf French Baguette or your favorite sliced crusty bread
Mix everything except the feta cheese, vinegar, and olive oil together in a bowl. When the ingredients are thoroughly mixed up, drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the mixture and stir gently with a spoon. Cut your bread into small slices and spread your mixture on top of each piece. Then top each slice with a bit of feta cheese and serve!
There are many ways to add healthy fats into your diet, and olives have so many benefits, plus they are rich in monounsaturated fats, the healthy fat. For an extra boost of powerful antioxidants, you can try supplementation as well.
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The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Please consult your health care professional before using any product.