Oregon Olive Oil

Oregon Olives 

Think global - buy local.

Dark Ripe Table Olives

(Similar to California Black Ripe Style, aka "pizza olives")


We will be following the directions for that recipe (pg. 14) in the University of California publication:


                                       Olives: Safe Methods for Home Picking


Special Note:  This is a lye cure.  If for any reason you feel unsafe working with lye, don't try this cure!  As a rule, never do anything you are uncomfortable with!!


Nov 18, 2012; Steps 1 - 2: We will be using Picholene olives, not due to any particular authenticity to the recipe, but because they are the ripest larger size olives we have at this point.


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Nov 19, Step 3, Day 1: The olives were left in the lye solution for about 4 hours -definitely too long.  Also, without thinking, I rinsed the olives (twice!).  Not in the directions, and almost certainly not a good idea washing away the coloring compounds.  After that, here is what they looked like:

Nov 20, Step 4, Day 2: The olives were left in this lye solution for about 3 hours - probably still too long.  However, they are indeed beginning to change color!  Sort of to a brown rather than a black, I'd say:

Nov 20, Step 5, Day 3: The olives were left in this lye solution for about 2 hours - pretty much getting down to the pit now.  And, a little more blackish:

Nov 20, Steps 6, 7, Days 4, 5: The olives were left in each of these lye solutions for about 2 hours.  Not much change going on - maybe all areas turning a little more dark. 


Nov 25, Steps 8, 9, Day 10: After three days of rising the lye and two days of soaking in the finsh brine, the dark ripe olives (five smaller jars with darker olives) were processed for extended storage by canning.  Definitely right to call this a "dark" rather than a "black" cure!

December 10, 2012:  Just for the fun of it, we bought some Lindsay brand olives (pizza olives, ya know?), and did a taste test.  The color is not quite as black, and of course they have pits, but I think the taste is real real close for our "dark ripe style" olives!

Here is a "small world" fact: many many years ago, my grandmother worked at the Lindsay cannery that used to make this type of olive.


Maybe there are olives in my blood?!


We will definitely be repeating this recipe in the future; without the mistake of rinsing the olives, and probably just doing two hour lye soaks at each of the lye soaking steps.