Contributing Monkie Charles Adkins
Published on July 29, 2012
Photographer: Dan Shouse
I will say it again, Not Just The Best F@ckin Fruit In A Jar, not by a mile. Olives, in my opinion maybe the greatest fruit of all-time. Olives have been described in biblical and other historic texts and are often associated with good health, goodwill, happiness, and peace. In Greece you could actually be put to death for harming an olive tree, while over in Rome is was considered a highly “sexual” fruit, and used as an aphrodisiac. Romans would eat them by the hundreds in single sittings, and were also the first civilization credited for the perfection of olive oil by using a stone press. The more you study olives and their history the more you begin to see how amazing they truly are. I am not talking about your black olives in a can either, I mean REAL, big juicy ripe olives that are fresh and magical.
Most of you know from reading my stuff that I am a big fan of eliminating toxins and getting the toxic mucus out of your system. With olives you seriously hit the jackpot in accomplishing this. Olives have a greater ability than oranges to dissolve toxic mucus in the system, and that’s saying a lot, because oranges are actually great for that. According to Ragnar Berg’s table which lists different foods ability to bind with acids it shows olives having the highest propensity to do so, actually THREE TIMES GREATER than oranges. The higher a foods acid-binding ability, the better it is at dissolving toxic mucus and removing cooked food residues from the body. It turns out that the olive comes it at a rating of 30.56, with figs coming in at 27.81. There were no other foods on the list that even topped a score of 20. Oranges came in at 9.61 and it is considered one of the very best toxic mucus dissolvers. Olives are pretty powerful little fruits!
The oils contained in olives are also great for skin, hair and nails and it is considered one of the foods you definitely need to consume (along with avocados and other nuts and seeds) if you are eating with beauty in mind. I have actually used pure olive oil as an aftershave because it is great for your skin and you just need a very small amount. Olives are high in calcium, magnesium, omega 3 and 6, they are an alkaline food loaded with vitamin A and E, and with so many varieties they are available year around which is very convenient.
Olives are one of those fruits along with avocados, dates, and citrus fruits that actually ripen to perfection in the sun AFTER fallen from the tree. Usually reaching a nice maturity in a couple weeks, but it could take months in some cases, you just have to know your local olives and keep trying them until they reach the ripeness you prefer. During this sun-ripening process the bitter compounds are converted into a flavor that is easily palatable. Most of the time you can tell when an olive is ripe by feeling that it is a little soft on the outside, and has a nice red to brown interior forming. You don’t want to let them get too shriveled and dry either or they lose that juiciness and flavor. You really do have to become familiar with olives that you have locally and test them out yourself.
Of course you can buy your olives instead of hunting the random olive groves in your neighborhood. You want to watch out for a few things though. First to avoid, the canned black olives. These things have been pasteurized, and processed, and they are also soaked in a compound called Ferrous Gluconate which is basically an iron based compound that helps them reach that jet black color. You can get some great olives that are “water cured” or “sea salt/oil” packed but you probably want to eat these types in moderation if you have salt concerns because they are very high in salt. You will want to be sure to eat less than 20 at a time if salt is a major concern for you.
If you are looking for the best olive oils out there you want to search immediately for the darkest bottles on the shelf. Olive oil is extremely sensitive to light so going to the darkest bottle will narrow your search quickly. Then you will want to look for “stone crushed” and “cold pressed” preferably a Greek or Italian extra virgin variety, but if they are American or some other European country that is OK as long as they meet the other criteria. Cold pressed and stone crushed are the most ancient way of collecting olive oil in a way that retains all of the essential fats and properties that make it amazing.
Curious little fruit, so many varieties to choose from. I am sure you will find no trouble getting one that strikes your palate perfectly and your body will definitely thank you in the long run!