Did some street harvesting of olives last weekend, soaked the 1 1/2 buckets in caustic soda brew overnight then it stretched into 21 hours 'cos I did some driving for the day...poured off the heavily tanned caustic brew, flushed with town water and have had 2 full days now of clean water soaks.... picked up courage this morning to bite-test one, 'cos my hand didn't get slippery when I stirred the morning batch of rinse-water. they taste of nothing much, soft/ mushy, not oily, ( OK that's the caustic effect, right ? ) but a faint maybe caustic / plastic residue taste after sucking on the pip for 10 seconds or so. Next batch might try the local winemakers for certified food-grade caustic. ? Now what? The 3 recipies talk of 4 to 8 days of water soaking until this stage......then preserving in heavy brine brews...... So.....Can I go straight to a brine brew now ? And..... Can I use potassium Chloride as part of the salt mix to keep my eventual Sodium intake down a bit ? Anyone have practice at this and maybe suggest a final treatment / preserving recipie?
now to figure out how to patch a picture into here......W
Error: This forum has exceeded its attachment space limit. Your file cannot be uploaded.
Which means the whole forum has got too big for its cyber-space allocation..? ?
Post by flowerweaver on May 9, 2014 23:36:03 GMT -5
Are you trying to upload it directly from your computer? Instead you'll need to upload your photo to a photo sharing service like Flickr or Picasa first, and then copy the share code into the body of you post.
Drip irrigated gardening in the arid southwest on a beautiful pile of alluvial rocks where the hill country meets the desert. It's a food desert, too: a 3 hour round trip to the grocery store.
I've never cured olives but friends do it every year from the fruit they grow. They do brine soaks, no caustic soda involved. The way they do it is a lacto-fermentation, like making sauerkraut. I've never asked them the details.
Ray Silty loam over clay, pH 5.5, altitude 1000m, latitude 30deg south, 150 frost free days.
I've never done the caustic soak, so can't offer specific advice on this issue, but I have preserved olives for a number of years, so can offer some principles that mght guide your actions. There's essentially two things you are trying to achieve when preserving olives - remove the nasty bitter flavours, then preserve the olives for future eating. From my reading, there are three ways to remove the bitterness 1.chemical neutralisation - caustic soda, I think woodash does the same thing. 2. leaching - this can involve a range of methods including dry salting to remove lots of the moisture, then fresh water soaks; slicing the skin then a couple of weeks of soaks and rinses , smashing green olives(the bottom of a full 300ml beer bottle works well - drink from a separate bottle, tho then soaks and rinses, which is the fastest method and can achieve edible olives in a week or so. 3. lactofermentation, which involves placing fresh washed olives in a brine solution (I use 10% by weight), then waiting for a couple of years while the fermentation removes the bitterness (I not sure how this works, but work it does). Mine were edible at about 18 months, but still had a bit of spritzig on the tongue at this stage. The leaching method removes the bitterness, but also removes some of the flavour compounds, the 2 year method results in lovely flavoursome olives, with a richness of flavour I've not found in other olives, but it's a long wait. I've read that placing a cut lemon or two in the mix adds citrus overtones, and the change in pH is beneficial, but I can't remember why - reducing mould growth, perhaps? Preserving the olives can either involve brining, vinegar, (or a mix of both), dry salting, or just pop them in a ziplok bag and freeze them.
If your olives are now not too bitter to eat, I suggest they are ready to preserve, tho I'm not sure how the dilution/removal of the caustic works. Not having tasted caustic soda, I'm not sure how you would tell. My recipe for final preserving is a quarter of a lemon, a small dry chilli, 10% salt solution, and whatever dry herbs are around - basil, oregano, bay, rosemary, etc. Use dry herbs, there is a chance that wet herbs might include sufficient moisture to breed nasty bugs. Brined olives can be preserved under oil (olive, naturally) but excluding oxygen with damp foodstuffs is a bit tricky - I avoid it. They can also be pickled in vinegar or acid solutions, but I've never tried it. So picking olives now, you are southern hemisphere? T
In long fermentation, you don't slice/bruise the fruit? Green or ripe? If bruising, does the brand of beer affect the result? Can hard cider be substituted? Damn! Curing olives may be so complicated.
My Grand-uncle Gottlieb once served me olives he'd foraged from the urban wilderness and cured; when I praised the minor sharp tang they had, he was appalled, thinking they should have no bitterness, whatsoever. I thought that little zing was great.
I am reminded of a California Rare Fruit Growers monthly meet I went to, which had a speaker who was an "aaamond" grower; she'd brought raw kernels of 1/2 dozen varieties to illustrate difference of bitterness (cyanide? levels). I caught minor flak for preferring the most bitter (these were all sweet nuts), but they were untoasted and that was the least "blah".
"So picking olives now, you are southern hemisphere?"
For sure, NZ East Coast. soft-rock hill country with overtones of rhyolitic volcanic ashes. Thanks for the pickling / preserving tips; I've started on final rinses in a light brine, 250 grams in about 6 litres ( pound salt / 5 qts) so will crank up the salt loading for the jar-filling in a couple of days time. Now; pickling in a local cider, that sounds like time to experiment. Your shout Long fermentation; worth another round of the street trees. Muchas thanks, W