Best store cupboard olives
Although I buy olives in tubs from the olive counters of supermarkets and delis when I know I have friends coming round, I always like to keep a jar of olives handy for emergencies and for cooking dishes like spaghetti alla puttanesca, or for throwing into a salade Nicoise. I am not keen on many of the cans of olives in brine because I find them tasteless, so I had been searching for a jarred product that would live up to a fresh olive. But then an Italian friend told me of the famous (in Italy) Taggiasca olive.
These are small oval olives, their ripe colour ranging from violet to a deep brown/black colour, and have a mild but fruity flavour. They are named because the olive was brought to the town of Taggia by the St Columban monks. They are grown on the terraces of the steep slopes of Liguria, which fall down to the Mediterranean coast from the Alps . As a result, they are harvested by hand, usually in January and are made into famous extra virgin olive oil or sold in jars, often with the addition of oregano, to be eaten as an aperitif. If you visit any town along this coastline you will find shops devoted to the Taggiasca olive.
I have to warn you that it is not easy to take the stones out as the olives are not fleshy, but it is worth the effort. I also wonder why Waitrose do not pack them in taggiasca olive oil instead of sunflower oil? However, I do think this is the best olive to have in your cupboard.
An Italian gem
180g drained weight
Waitrose Customer Services:
Tel.: 0800 188884
Ocado Customer Services:
Tel.: 0345 656 1234
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