Olives were harvested, depending on their intended use, at different times:
still unripe (olives albae or acerbae)
not fully ripe (olives variae or fuscae)
ripe (olives nigrae).
Those that could not be picked by climbing the trees were dropped using long flexible sticks (ractriai in Greek), always taking great care not to damage them. Some helpers collected and gathered the beaten olives, which were usually ground as soon as possible.
Olives originated in Asia Minor and started to spread in the Mediterranean 6000 years ago.
In Italy, the presence of olive stones in archaeological contexts is documented as far back as the Mesolithic period.
According to recent studies, there are some doubts about the theories that claim that the olive tree was introduced to Italy by the first Greek settlers, although we should not forget that the Greek word for olive (elaìa) and the Etruscan word amurca, in its Greek form amòrghe, indicate the bitter liquid obtained from the first pressing of the olives, which was discarded and used as a fertiliser, in the tanning of hides and in the drying of wood.
Today, this food is one of the symbolic foods of the Mediterranean diet, internationally recognised for its properties and very characteristic flavour.
Table olives, green, black, with or without bone, stuffed, whole or sliced are part of appetizers, salads, pasta dishes, rice, pâtés, sauces, bread or together with other components of meat and fish fillings.
Properties and benefits of olives
They are a source of vitamins A, B, C, E, minerals (iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iodine) and provide oleic acid and have a high fibre content (which helps regulate our intestinal system).
In addition to their famous benefits for our cardiovascular system, they also have beneficial properties for our musculoskeletal, respiratory, nervous and digestive systems, all thanks to their high content of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Olives are rich in many plant compounds, in particular:
* Oleuropein: this is the most abundant antioxidant in fresh, unripe olives.
* Hydroxytyrosol: as olives ripen, oleuropein is broken down into hydroxytyrosol, a powerful antioxidant.
* Tyrosol: prevalent in olive oil, this antioxidant is not as powerful as hydroxytyrosol.
* Oleanolic acid: this antioxidant can help prevent liver damage, regulate blood fats and reduce inflammation.
* Quercetin: this nutrient can lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
Recipe with Leccino Olives
- 400 g farfalle pasta or other short pasta format
- olives , 100 g of pitted Leccino olives
- parsley 1 tuft of washed and dried parsley
- thyme ; a few thyme leaves
- basil ; a few basil leaves
- pine nuts 50 g lightly toasted pine nuts
- capers 1 teaspoon of well-washed salted capers
- pepper a few grains of black pepper
- oil extra virgin . olive oil to taste
- parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
While the pasta is cooking, place the olives, parsley, thyme, basil, pine nuts, capers, black pepper and Parmesan in the mixer, pouring in the oil to obtain a fairly creamy mixture.
Drain the pasta al dente and dress it with the prepared pesto, adding, if necessary, 1 tablespoon of cooking water.
We recommend using leccino olives to add a touch of flavour to your dishes.
And don’t forget the extra virgin olive oil, which gives an unmistakable, high-quality flavour.