Sep 062011

After my brother, Joe, asked me to look for different olive curing recipes, my mind and interest turned to the chemistry of olives and olive oil. Are there new and flavorful ways to cure an olive or cook with olive oil? I had to know.

While doing research, I came upon several chefs and food critics who had visited the genius, Spanish chef Ferran Adria, owner of the now closed but not forgotten el Bulli restaurant in Catalonia, Spain. While many foods and beverages have been transformed by Adria into visual and tasteful culinary masterpieces, I was most intrigued by his transformation of a spiced, olive puree into the replica of an olive. The video above shows how Chef Adria creates his “olives”. Watching him and his brain at work is magnificent.

Commercial olive growing is making its way out of the Mediterranean and around the world. The people of these new, commercial olive growing regions with their varying culinary, scientific, and artistic traditions will start to explore ways of reinventing the olive to please their consumers. Opportunity is knocking. I am excited by the prospects: a new olive curing technique; a flavored olive oil mousse, or whatever delicious riff on the olive awaits.

Thinking about future olive delights is exciting, but I have a job to do – finding some olive curing recipes that my brother can use. I am, after all, a dutiful sister.

May the sun shine through your branches.