Calabrian traditions: crushed olives

Olive is a fruit that has been an essential part of Calabrians life for centuries. Some recent studies have revealed that olive trees were already cultivated in Calabria in the Neolithic period.

Even the preserving method is an ancient tradition that has its origins in Ancient Greece.

How to prepare crushed olives

Nowadays in Calabria, the crushed green olives are still being prepared. Although the preserving method may seem simple, it requires skill, time, and patience.

According to the tradition, to crush the olives, you need to use a stone and make small, firm raps until the pit is removed. The stone should be fairly large and smooth. Once pitted, the olives must be put in a bowl and soaked in water for around 5 or 6 days. Water needs to be changed at least a couple of times a day. In this way, the olives become sweet and are ready to be strained, rinsed and squeezed.

Crushed olives: seasoning and storage

At this point, some ingredients can be added to give the crushed olives a strong and genuine taste.

Usually, the olives are seasoned with chili, salt, oregano, fennel, and garlic; they are mixed and left to flavor for a few hours.

The crushed olives are then conserved in oil and stored in glass jars, ready to be consumed in winter.

Once ready, we recommend serving crushed olives along with Calabrian pecorino cheese and a glass of red wine with a pleasant aroma and a soft, balanced taste.