April 17, 2013

"O" is for Olive

This is Day 15 for the
Blogging from A to Z Challenge
for 2013.

Today's post is about the olive, valued since ancient times for its fruit, oil and wood. Olive trees thrive around the Mediterranean, as well as other arid regions of the world.

The Olive Fruit, or Drupe

Some olive trees are reputed to be thousands of years old. This tree at the Pont du Gard in France is a mere youngster at 100.

Olive Tree at the Pont du Gard

Potted Olive Tree, Uzès

A simple olive press, like this one on a farm in Tuscany, can be used to extract the oil.

Olive Press, Tuscany

Modern machinery is used for large scale production.

Olive Oil Production in Provence

Olives cannot be eaten directly from the tree. They must be fermented, cured and/or marinated with a variety of flavourings to become edible.

Olives at the Cours Saleya Market, Nice

The fruit can also be prepared as a tasty spread, or tapenade, made of chopped olives, capers, olive oil and flavourings.

Tasting of Tapenades in Provence
Olives at Dinner in Tuscany

The olive has been a welcome addition to tables around the world for centuries. As a topping on a pizza, added to a dry martini, or oil drizzled on a salad – what is your favourite way to eat an olive?

Next:  "P" is for Princess


  1. Oh how I love Olive oil, and it is the only oil I use for cooking, topping...have to watch out for flash point though...some for frying, others are not...says on the labels. All of my olive oils come from Italy. I do not buy California oils...too many chemicals used in our fields. www.sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

    1. I bought some olive oil at the Mercato Centrale in Florence a couple of years ago - a tasty souvenir!

  2. This is the second olive post I've seen today. I did not know that you can't or shouldn't eat an olive from tree, because I would try.

  3. Olives are one of my favorite foods. I use olive oil almost exclusively, and I have a few with lunch almost every day. Sometimes olives ARE lunch, along with a tomato and other veggies or cheese. We nearly always have a jar of the garlic and jalapeno stuffed olives from Costco.

    Stopping by from A-Z. Great to meet you.

    1. And they're so good for you. I like dipping bread into olive oil with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Olive oil is becoming really popular in India for cooking !

    1. Your comment got me curious, so I had to Google it - sounds like olive trees are now being introduced in India.

  5. as Spaniard, olive oil is almost like water ;) my grandfather always prepared my breakfast: he toasted some bread and put some olive oil and marmalade, fresh orange juice and a glass of milk, uhmmm!

  6. What a healthy start to the day!


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