The olive has its roots in a traditional Mediterranean diet, but is currently enjoyed worldwide.
So National Olive Day on June 1 is a great opportunity to find a way to incorporate some olives into your diet! Perhaps your local grocery store has an olive bar, which allows you to select from the many varieties of olives. Or maybe you’ve gotten an olive at your local bar, as a garnish for a martini. (Even James Bond made the switch to a martini garnished with olives in the latest movie by the famous spy, Specter.)
Olives have more nutritional benefits than you think. They offer a wealth of healthy types of fats and fatty acids, while providing a natural source of iron. And there are many more ways to prepare olives than you probably know. Olives are grown on trees, and can be grown to serve as table fruit or to produce oil. If you cook with olive oil, you can receive many of the same health benefits that olives provide, including the introduction of healthy fats. Supermarkets carry a wide variety of olive oils, so you have many options to incorporate them into your recipes. National Olive Day is a great day to try eating new varieties of olives. And it’s also a great day to learn the magic trick to get bell pepper inside the green olive! (A high-speed machine chops the olive and then fills the pepper, which, unfortunately, is not so magical.)
OLIVE DAY NATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Find a new way to eat olives
Use National Olive Day as an excuse to make an olive-based recipe for the family. You can also add black olives to tortillas, pizza, or nachos to change the flavor and texture of those foods. Consider traveling to the local grocery store and looking through the olive bar. Choose a variety of olives and try them. You can even stuff olives with plenty of food, beyond the pepper, for a unique flavor.
Visit an authentic local Mediterranean restaurant
If you can afford a quick trip to the Mediterranean to eat at an authentic native restaurant, that’s the best way to celebrate National Olive Day. If that’s not within your budget, consider eating at a local Mediterranean restaurant and saving a few bucks on the plane fare. It should be easy to find something on the menu that includes olives.
Learn about the phrase, spreading an olive branch
The idea of extending an olive branch to promote peace dates back to ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Someone who was losing a war in those days would use an olive branch to demonstrate that he was asking for peace. And in the Bible, the story of Noah’s Ark included a dove carrying an olive branch to indicate that it had found earth, considered a metaphor for peace between God and man. Now we cannot guarantee that presenting an olive branch will help to calm the enmity you have with a neighbor. But bringing two glasses of martini, vodka, vermouth, and a jar of olives can work.
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL OLIVE DAY
They have more nutritional value than you think
An olive has quite a few nutritional benefits, some of which you probably didn’t know about. A cup of black olives can provide about 40% of your RDA for copper, about 25% for iron, and about 15% for vitamin E. In addition, olives provide a variety of antioxidants and healthy fats, including acid. oleic. Now, that doesn’t mean you want to eat a whole jar of olives at once. But if you are looking for a healthy reason to enjoy a dry martini, stick a couple of extra olives on the skewer.
Eating unripened olives will not make you sick
Olives are considered a fruit. And olives are one of the rare fruits that won’t make you feel bad after eating them before they ripen. As the olives grow in the olive tree, they change from green to purple, from dark brown to black. And they can be eaten anywhere along the way … as long as they are processed. Olives actually taste bitter when initially harvested. Olives are cured in water, brine, or bleach to remove the bitter taste.
Olive trees can live for several hundred years.
Olive trees are incredibly abundant. The average lifespan of an olive tree is about 500 years, and the oldest olive trees are reportedly a few thousand years old. One of the most famous olive trees, located in Vouves in Greece, is over 2,000 years old and can still produce fruit. Vouves even has an Olive Museum. (Apple trees are very jealous).