Good things take time and we believe olives taste better the longer they take to cure. Annalien van der Colff of Rhebokskraal Olive Estate offers these curing tips:
For kalamata-style olives, use black olives - the picking season is from April to June and you can buy unpickled olives directly from farms. Place them in fresh water for three weeks, stirring once a day and rinsing once a week.
Place in a weak salt solution (150g salt to 5 litres or 20 cups water) for the next two weeks, and in a slightly stronger solution (200g salt to 5 litres or 20 cups water) for two weeks after that. For the final two weeks, place in a solution of 250g salt to 5 litres (20 cups) water.
Set aside for four months. Rinse then place in a solution of 250g salt to 5 litres (20 cups) water. Leave for another four months. Taste.
If satisfied, leave in vinegar for 12 hours then bottle in a solution of 250g salt to 5 litres (20 cups) water and 250ml (1 cup) brown vinegar. The result is juicy olives, loose around the pip and ready to be used with herbs and spices.
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