Olive Harvest 2017 - How to cure olives - Calamata style

by Caro
(Cape Town)

Curing olives, Calamata style

Curing olives, Calamata style

CURING OLIVES
About a month ago we harvested the olive tree and got about 10 litres of olives. It was very late in the season as Stephan has had tennis elbow and he was waiting for recovery. Then I forgot them a dish until they were actually going mouldy. We sorted out those that were still hard and clean. My friend Sherise helped me slit them, it was a long job and I'm so grateful for the help and the chatting while doing it to pass the time easily. Imagine what it was like the year we had 45 Litres ! Then for two weeks we leached them in fresh water, replacing it daily. I put this water into my gray water tank and watered my plants with it with no ill effects. A week ago we started soaking them in brine. This is replaced weekly. It cannot go into the gray water tank of course. Here you see the olives towards the close of the week, with the typical white yeasty film floating on the surface. After a few more weeks we will bottle them in a vinegar brine mix, Calamata style, although they are 'Black Mission' and probably some garden herbs will be added.

THE BASKET
The basket is used to keep dust and flies out of the brine. It was probably from Malawi, or Zimbabwe as my sisters went there in their teens and twenties. They last really long actually. There are a beautiful range of patterns all over the southern continent, and way up to Ethiopia, where they are often made with coloured materials. Down here coloured telephone wire is used sometimes and our baskets are spectacular.

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