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We picked our first crop of Kalamatta olives recently and got abit over a kilo of fruit from a five year old tree. We prepared them for pickling and have put them in brine.I do not know how long this process will take but it hopefully will be worth all the effort though.My wife has the pallet to taste test these against shop bought ones. I will let you know as we proceed. pics to illustrate following

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It must be great to finally get a harvest! And it looks like you have the pickling process down pat, I don't like olives but I am sure that they will taste fantastic - heaps better than shop bought ones.

We are starting to get a couple of things now after two years, but still have to wait another three for most things - I can't wait for our almonds!
Looking foward to visiting on the weekend Donna .I have not seen an almond tree yet.
Well done :-)! You can also put them down (after the brining process) with extra olive oil, slices of rind-on lemon, garlic and oregano. Everyone you talk to whose family comes from the Med. has the only authentic recipe and all are different! Like the authentic recipes for Sauerkraut! They're all good whichever way you do them. The quality is in the flavour of the olive and the brinings to reduce the bitterness, the rest of the ingredients are personal taste and what's available.
This sounds like the fun part of the process, oils and flavour. We will start to think about that soon.
Carrying on the topic from the olive photo comments ... Trinette, there are many methods but Hydrogen Peroxide and Caustic Soda are more commercial ones. They don't give that 'home made' taste and the caustic stuff could be tricky to handle.

Try the Wiki first then do a more general search for 'home pickled olive recipe' or similar and I'll bet you find dozens of recipes. All guaranteed authentic ;-)!

The general idea is to allow the fruit, whether green (unripe) or black (ripe) to release its bitter taste (tannins maybe) first before adding other flavours if you chose to add flavours rather than just pickle them finally in brine.

The brining process sets up a situation (osmosis?) where the concentration of the fluid outside of the olive's cells is greater than in the cells and the olive cells give up their fluid which in this case is bitter in order to equalise the concentration. So just using water will not accomplish that. As you found, plain water allows all sorts of microscopic life to colonise the water and having your olives growing whiskers is not what you want.

After soaking in brine and changing the water at whatever intervals the recipe calls for, then rinse and add the flavours to sterilised jars and the olives, seal and await developments. Home-pickled olives in the Queensland summer do not last very long - leaving aside that they can be so delicious that no one wants to leave them in the jar anyway. With even the best hygiene, they often go soft so eating them soon and often will allow you to get the full benefit of your labours.

I've managed to make a couple of decent batches of pickled olives and sauerkraut and I've made some darned expensive compost, too ;-).
Thanks Elaine, you are a wealth of knowledge! I don't know when I will have the chance to try again as my mystery olive tree still hasn't produced any fruit. I have had it for about 3 yrs and its not grafted so hopefully might get something in the next coupleof years, I'm hoping!
You might live long enough Trinette ;-) They say you plant Olives for your grandchildren. The varieties grown here may be selected for earlier bearing than the traditional ones or it might be that since they are grafted, using older wood gives fruit earlier. Not being grafted might delay things - generally seedlings take longer than grafts. Cuttings are difficult to strike with Olives that's why the cloning process is done as a graft. There's other species that won't graft, Lychees spring to mind as air layers (marcot) are made from the branches and when the roots grow, they're cut off and potted but it takes quite some months. With anything that hits a popularity high whether plants or dog breeds, you get a lot of cowboys rushing in for a quick buck. Not all the stock available is of first quality and Olives have been popular for some years.

Keep a watch on your local fruit shop, some stock green, semi-ripe and ripe Olives so you can still have a whirl at pickling. That's the only way I got Olives to pickle.
Can't wait til my olive tree is this mature. Looks beautiful and the pickled olives present beautifully.

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