INTRODUCING THE OLIVE EXPERT
HOW DID IT HAPPEN, WHY EXPERT?
Personally, we don’t like the term expert – it implies you know all there is to know which just ain’t possible. The last time we looked there were over 3000 different varieties of olives (and that’s a conservative estimate). Of those around 800 have been completely catalogued and defined and of those there are probably around 240 main varietals that are grown around the world today. Of the 240 around about 120 get used to make all manner of grades of olive oil and around 120 get used to make table olives – the ones we eat. Those 120 different varietals get grown from as far north as Perth in the UK and as far south as the far north of the South Island of New Zealand. They are prepared to traditional family recipes – each using their own particular method and mix of herbs unique to them and where they were grown. No two olives are ever the same. No two methods of preparing olives can ever be the same. So, when someone says they’ve eaten an olive in a little place, just outside of, and it looked like this and tasted like that and have you got one. Chances are… we haven’t.
From my perspective I reckon we’re still original, still genuine and still working on the perfect olive – I know more than I did 20 years ago and I’m learning every day. I will never run out of things to learn – in fact there is an alarming increase in the number of things we know nothing about. So perhaps I’m just an enthusiastic amateur – but try me anyway. If I don’t know, I’ll find out.
Expert Top Tip
The best top tip for olives is to taste as many as you can and find the one you like – no one likes all the wines in the world and no one is going to like all the olives in the world. I don’t.
In fact I would say that most olives I try I don’t enjoy – that’s one of the reasons we go to the lengths we do to make them enjoyable and as close to the family style recipes Annie and I ate on the original trip. If I like them, the chance are you will too!
Ask our Olives Et Al Enthusiastic Amateurs a question, we can give you tips, recommendations and facts about anything Olivey – might not be what you’re looking for but we’ll give it a go. Try and stick to olives as we’re not that good at being Agony Aunts or offering advice on DIY.