Tapas and tapenade
The olive is a tree of which the whole can be used in some way. The fruit can be used to make oil, as we've seen, and can be eaten either when it is green or when it is ripe and black. Quite ordinary cheap tinned olives can be lifted into delicious tapas, meze or hors d'oeuvre by marinading them in a little oil with chopped garlic, herbs, chilli peppers or other spices. Olives can also be made into tapenade - a paste of green or black olives, oil, seasonings and sometimes anchovies which can be spread on bread or toast.
The wood is used to make beautiful bowls, spoons and boards. The slow-growing nature of the tree makes a lovely grain and each piece is unique.
Olive stones into fuel?
And last week Colin and Carol at Mediterranean Garden Spain had an interesting post about a report from the Spanish Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology on research into turning waste olive stones into bio-diesel fuel.
War on olives
This isn't a political blog, but I couldn't finish this series of posts on the olive without mentioning something which has been of great concern to me for many years - the destruction of Palestinian olive groves by the Israeli army. On the pretext of protecting illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine the army is uprooting thousands of olive trees and making it difficult for Palestinian growers to harvest their crops from others. This deprives families of their livelihood and of decades and even centuries of investment and time which these trees have taken to grow to maturity. The campaign is continuing during this year's harvest as you can read here. I can only hope that the election of the new US president may lead to an improvement in the situation in Palestine and the wider Middle East and an end to the policy of subjecting a symbol of peace to an act of war.