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I have often declared the fact that I so very much want to be just like everyone else – I so want to love the rich, buttery, salty flavor of gourmet olives.  I’ve shared that I have tried and tried over the years, hoping to acquire a taste.  It seemed like progress was slow, if non existent…until now.  The day has come.

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With a gorgeous display of all varieties at my disposal amid all the gourmet delights of a recent dinner party, I a popped a Kalamata olive into my mouth without a second thought.  “Wow,” I thought, “this is really quite delicious.”  I grabbed another…and just one more.

The day has come.

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The Kalamata olive is a large, black olive with a smooth, meaty texture named after the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese, Greece.  They are an almond-shaped, plump, dark purple olive, from a tree distinguished from the common olive by the size of its leaves, which grow to twice the size of other olive varieties.  There are two methods of preparing Kalamata olives, known as the long and short methods. The short method debitters the olive by packing them in water or weak brine for around a week. Once complete, they are then packed in brine and wine vinegar with a layer of olive oil and slices of lemon on top. The olives can be slit in order to decrease the processing time. The long method involves slitting the olives and placing them in salted water in order to debitter them, a process that can take as long as three months. Levels of polyphenol remain in the olives after processing, giving them their slightly bitter taste.

 

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