O is for … Olives

For me, table olives fall into the ‘yuk’ category, yet the Mediterranean is awash with them. I’ve tried them, over and over again, really trying my hardest to find some that I like (well, like might be too optimistic, I’m not expecting to like them, but I’d quite like to find a variety that I can at least swallow without gagging!)

In Courting Danger, my characters also have a love-hate relationship with the olive. Despite its relatively small size Portugal manages to rank as the world’s 8th largest producer of olive oil at around 50,000 tons (thankfully my aversion doesn’t apply to the oil:) )
There are seven varieties of olives in Portugal with the most prolific being the Galega a small dark brownish black olive.

Galega olive trees are mainly grown for their oil however they also make delicious table olives.

The olives have a sweet delicate fruity flavor in contrast to the green rich fleshy Spanish Manzanilla olives or the dark smooth meaty taste of Greek Kalamata olives.

So, is the olive a fruit or a vegetable?

It’s the question everyone asks – don’t they?

Well, ask no more:  An olive is a a FRUIT!  The general rule is that an edible plant can be categorised as a fruit if it has seeds, but if it is seedless, it is generally a vegetable.

This is good news, because we are constantly told to each more vegetables.  I can at least say no to the olive now 🙂

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