OLIVE SCHIACCIATE (Fresh Cracked Olives)


I love olives, especially those that still taste slightly bitter.

Many Sicilian recipes also include olives as an ingredient. Whenever a recipe calls for olives I try to include good quality ones, and usually these are not the type of olives sold pickled in jars. And sold at a cheap price. In Australia we seem to have many good quality, black olives, but I often have difficulties purchasing good tasting green olives. Some olives often taste too synthetic and can spoil the taste of the dish.

I am always excited when I find good quality produce and recently I purchased some excellent crushed green olives.

As you can see in the picture, the label does not include much information. The web site listed is Sunraysia Olive Oil Company. Unfortunately this web site is not there and any attempt to find information through google will be about Mildura and environs.

Schiacciate means crushed in Italian. Crushing the olives allows greater penetration of the brine and the olives will be ready to eat in a shorter time. These green kalamata olives that I purchased called Olive King Olives have been processed like schiacciate (not that this information is included on the label), are 100% Australian grown and owned.  The olives are indeed grown and processed in Mildura: they have an excellent texture, are totally free of chemicals and taste amazing. Certainly as good, if not better than the few olives my father used to pickle in this way.

When my father was alive and when my children were very young, my dad used to get them both to help him hit the green olives gently with a brick (or meat mallet or a hammer) without crushing them completely – this was tricky.

Once the olives have been crushed, the olive stones can also be removed – this will hasten the pickling process even more so. The olives need to be placed in salted water for about 10 days (that water needs to be changed twice a day). This process will remove most of the bitterness from the olives; they will still taste slightly bitter, but this is one of their appealing qualities. The olives are then either ready to eat. They need to be drained and dressed with salt, garlic, crushed fennel seeds (or some wild fennel leaves), oregano, olive oil , fresh chilli and a dash of vinegar (optional).  If you wish to keep them for longer, place the olives in clean jars, cover with oil and keep them refrigerated. My father never made sufficient quantities to do this.

I rang the phone numbers included on the label to congratulate them. At this stage it is just a small family business. I wish them well.