Since ancient Greece the olive tree has had a sacred meaning. It was the symbol of the Olympic Games representing the Olympic ideals, piece, wisdom & victory. This is why athletes used to be crowned with olive leaves as a winning prize.
Olives were and are the protagonist of the Greek culinary art & have been a part of Greeks’ nutritional routine for hundreds of years.
From one border to another, olives vary; they grow under different conditions and develop different characteristics. There are many varieties being cultivated around the country, others are mostly used to produce olive oil and others simply to be eaten just the way they are.
Kalamata is the land of Kalamata Olives, a kind of table olives, quite large that look similar to grapes with purplish colour and meaty texture. Each olive weighs more or less 5 – 6 grams and it grows at the end of November to early December.
Kalamata olives, wine & bread have been the corner stone of the Peloponnesian diet for many years.
However, olives cannot be consumed just after they are harvested since they have an exceptionally bitter taste. They need to go through a certain procedure in order to avoid bitterness. First you leave olives into water for 10 – 15 days whilst change water daily. Then, you preserve olives in wine vinegar or olive oil.
Kalamata olives go ideally with fresh bread and extra virgin olive oil; they make the perfect side dish for lentils or bean soup and are definitely the “must” eat during the fasting period. Today, Kalamata Olives have become famous throughout the world. From New York to Australia, high end restaurants have incorporated Kalamata olives in their menus and recipes.
Going back to our roots, searching for the truth beneath natural products is the answer to nutritional do’s and don’ts.