How to remove the bitterness from olives: methods and tips

How can we remove the bitter taste that characterizes olives, be they green or black, just picked from the tree? What is the process to remove the bitterness from olives? Let's see how to eliminate the bitterness from the olives, with some tips to store them and always have them ready for our recipe.

By Cookist

Green or black, small or giant; olives can be enjoyed plain or in appetizing recipes. Have you been lucky enough to collect them but have you noticed that, when tasted, they are too bitter, practically inedible? Do not worry, your olives are fine but you just need to remove the bitterness from them. The olives just picked from the tree have a very intense and particularly bitter taste that has little to do with the olives we buy in brine or in the supermarket; before consuming or storing them, it is necessary to treat them to remove the bitterness. How to do it? How do you remove the bitterness from the harvested olives? How can you sweeten olives with baking soda? Let's see how to do it.

How to remove the bitterness from olives


When is it necessary to remove the bitterness from olives? When we treat olives that have just been picked from the tree and that have not undergone any processing phase. Eliminating the excessive bitter component is very simple and, based on the time and patience you have, you can choose between different options, let's see them in detail.

Cold water; immerse the olives in a basin and cover them completely with cold water. Change the water twice a day, morning and evening, for two weeks; in this period of time the olives will lose their bitter substance and can finally be tasted, or preserved in brine. Although it is not a very fast method, this water method is undoubtedly the best one because it is totally natural;

Water and caustic soda; a much faster but also more invasive method, to be applied only to perfectly intact olives and with a great deal of attention. For each kilogram of olives, prepare a solution of one liter of water and 20 grams of caustic soda, wait for it to cool and then immerse the olives previously cleaned and washed in them, here they will have to remain (completely immersed) for eight or ten hours. After the necessary time you will have to leave the olives for three days in cold water, changing it two or three times a day.

How to store the olives


After eliminating the bitter note of the olives, it is possible to consume them or, possibly, to store them so as to have them available all year round. How to do it? Salted, in brine or in oil, let's see how to proceed.

How to remove the bitterness from olives: the simple method

In brine; whether green or black, the olives will be stored in sterilized jars in a solution of water and salt first brought to a boil and then cooled, with the addition of a simple bay leaf. Proportions: 1 kilogram of olives, 1 liter of water and 100 grams of salt, in this way you will have firm and tasty olives for a year;

In salt; the method with salt is a very ancient method of storing with which we can simultaneously flavor the olives and have them available for a long time. After making sure that the olives are intact, take a large container and form alternate layers of olives and coarse salt so that the olives are completely covered. Let the olives "rest" for 10 days and then clean them under running water, dry them and season them according to your taste before storing them in jars;


In oil; halfway between a side dish and a storing, ideal especially for black olives. Put the olives in a colander, cover them with coarse salt and let them rest for ten days. After the necessary time, clean the olives, season them with garlic, chilli pepper and oregano and store them in jars completely covered with oil.

With lemon; an ideal preparation for freshly picked green olives, but also for black ones. Prepare a brine with 100 grams of salt for each liter of water, then cut all the olives and place them in a sterilized jar, adding slices of lemon, garlic to taste, a few bay leaves, mint, or thyme and rosemary, and then proceed with layers of olives and aromatic herbs until all the ingredients are used up. Finally, cover everything well with the brine and seal the jar tightly. Store the jar in a cool, dry and possibly dark place, remembering to turn it upside down every now and then, putting it back in the right direction. After 10 days the contents of the jar will change color; you can check if the olives have become sweet after about 2 months and, if not, close the jar again and store for another 20 days.

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