How Olives Are Processed

Unripe green olives and even ripe black ones are bitter. Before they can be eaten they
must be processed.

Olive curing is so ancient that no one knows how it first began or exactly where.
There are myths, of course. One is that some olives fell from a tree into a river, where
people discovered that the water removed their bitterness. Another is that a man found
an olive branch, with olives on it, floating in the sea. He tasted the olives, and they were
delicious. There is some truth in these myths. Olives can be cured with fresh water; brine,
which is salted water; in salt, which will leave them shriveled and pungent; or in oil.