Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Feb 18, 2007 06:47 AM

Where to buy uncured green olives?

During a recent trip to Philadelphia, I ate some large, uncured olives at an Italian restaurant. They had no hint of salt whatsoever and were bright green.

Yesterday I thought I had found them at the produce store at the Chelsea market, but they weren't quite right--they were a little salty. Does anyone know of a place that sells the ones I described above?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Fair warning: this will probably be a pretty unhelpful reply.

    I'm pretty sure the olives you had weren't uncured, just cured without brining. My understanding is that raw, utterly unprocessed olives right off the tree are inedible (because of massive tannins). I have read, heard, something, that if you want to eat them without brining them you have to cure them in lye. Which I have eaten, and loved, but the *thought* of it makes my organic hair stand on end.

    I bought raw olives at either the Italian Market on 9th Street in Philadelphia or possibly at Gentile's (an Italian-American family-owned produce place in the Philly burbs) and an old woman customer in the store told me how to cure them with lye. But when push came to shove, I was too much of a wimp to mess around with lye and I let them rot while trying to figure out another way to deal with them. Don't do what I did! :o

    I'll be interested to hear if you get any better replies so I can learn, too.

    1. I'm not sure this is what you're looking for, but Blue Owl in the East Village has a selection of olives with "house-made marinades." I was there a few months ago & remember some of them tasting very mild and un-briny.

      1. Were they Cerignola olives? ...

        If they were a type of Green California olive, the restaurant owner might have purchased them locally from a market and cured the olives themselves. Was the stone unusually large with little flesh surrounding it? If so, they were probably California olives that were water-cured or salt-cured (locally). Uncured olives aren't available to us here on the East coast year-round. The California olive harvest generally begins in September and lasts through November.
        I doubt you'll find any locally here on the East coast right now.

        During the interim, enjoy some Green Cerignola olives coated with a quality EVOO.

        1. Okay I recently saw a report on this .... If I'm not mistaken there is a vendor in Chelsea Market or thereabouts and also there is a place in Chinatown (possibly Canel). Sorry I can't be more specific but maybe someone can jump in and help me out.