June 24, 2024

Angie Makes Home Cured Green Olives

Angie rinses olives as part of the home cure process

Home Cured Olives

I've been in the specialty food business for over 40 years, and it is fascinating to me how few people were interested in canning or "putting food by" back in the 1980s versus today in the 2020s. I suppose the same can be said about interest in backyard chickens and kitchen gardens. What was once "ethnic" or "niche" seems evermore mainstream, and I'm glad for that. The notion of self reliance has always resonated with me.

There are two obstacles most Americans face when looking to cure their own olives at home: 1) olives are a low acid food, so strict food safety protocols must be followed and, 2) unless you live in an olive growing region, it's not easy to get fresh olives!  

I'm here to help you on both fronts as I will be writing about food safety between now and when the new crop comes in and, as long as you're in one of the 48 US states, I can ship fresh olives directly to you from local orchards here in my hometown of Corning, California. Corning has been known for the past 100 years as "Olive City" due to our region's olive acreage and the local olive cannery, the second largest ripe olive cannery in the world.

I'll also be sharing some first person accounts from both first time olive preparers and folks who learned at their grandma's knee. This first story about my friend and colleague, Angie. Do you have a home-cured olive story? If so, I'd love to hear from you! - Liz

Angie Makes Home Cured Green Olives

I first met Angie when looking for a food photographer for a client in 2012, and four years later hired her and her food stylist team to set up and capture all of the imagery for our annual catalogs at Lucero Olive Oil. If you have any of the old catalogs from 2016, 2017, and 2018, that's her work!  She, her film maker husband, and our designer travelled to Corning November 2016 and captured many of the original orchard photos and production we used at the time, and I still rely on some of those original photos today. She spent several days here, including two days in the Williams 160 orchard capturing many lovely photos of farm workers, and the photo you see on our home page is Angie "wearing" a harvest bucket full of Picual olives. 

An avid gardener and home cook as well as a talented professional photographer, Angie was enchanted by the home cured olives that my partner, Bob freely shared with customers who visited, and she asked if she could try brining at home. We shipped olives to her twice due to a processing error, and Bob sent along his recipe.

FOOD SAFETY LESSON: Never use lye in a reactive pan!

The words that follow this introduction and all images in this post are Angie's. You can find the original post along with other of her recipes and photographs on her WordPress blog Stray Cats and Blackberries.

Bob's Home-Cured Green Olives