Olives and olive oil – top tip

I love olives, especially the black slightly crinkly one with stones – they are the ripest (stoned black olives in brine are actually semi ripe, otherwise they couldn’t be pitted mechanically, and then dyed black – they do have their uses, but you have to know the name of a good brand, ‘cos they often taste like chipboard) – however, I don’t eat them every day, or even every week – and they end up drying out or getting a slightly winey fermented flavour – I’m sure this happens to lots of people.
On the other hand, who can afford the really expensive fruity olive oil that you keep just for salads (the too good to cook with kind) anymore?
So, next time you buy olives in a pack, take a clean jar with a lid, place olives inside and cover with ordinary olive oil – your olives will last for months and months and the olive oil will become fruity and olivey and taste considerably posher than it did straight from the bottle. My jar is about 10 months old and still as fresh as a daisy.

The cheapest and best olives in Whitechapel are sold in £1 bags from the Algerian stalls on Whitechapel market – otherwise try Turkish/Moroccan/Algerian shops where they’re sold loose or in packs – all good quality. The cheapest and actually award winning olive oil is in Lidls – Primadonna brand, £2.19 -£2.80 for 750ml, depending if they’ve got it on special offer, which seems to be quite often.

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