Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Dec 6, 2011 11:00 AM

Unmarinated Olives in Boston?

Hi there.. Does anyone know of a place to buy unmarinated olives in Boston? I wanted to try marinating my own.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Do you mean uncured or unmarinated? Unmarinated (i.e., only cured/fermented with minimal added flavors) should be relatively easy to find. I recently saw fresh/uncured olives at Arax.


    3 Replies
    1. re: emannths

      yes.. exactly! Actually, I just stumbled on this old thread which answered my question:


      1. re: emoss

        I saw raw olives a couple of weeks ago at Roberto's on Mystic Ave. in Medford.

        1. re: weg

          I saw some raw olives (green) at Haymarket a few wks ago. Didn't check the price though.. The stall was fairly close to the cheese guy.

    2. Arax had them last week. And the green grocers in the North End usually do this time of year.

      If you get anything edible please post back. I've tried brining them 2-3 times and mine just have not turned into anything resembling an edible olive.

      6 Replies
      1. re: StriperGuy

        This is interesting, because I thought that the season was sept/ oct- maybe that's just in California.

        I ordered a 5lb box from a grower in California (back when I lived in Utah, and it wasn't that far away) and cured them using the lye method. It was a little scary using a poison on something I planned to eat, but I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed, and nobody died. After I was done "curing" them, I flavored a couple of batches- one with citrus peels, one with garlic, and they were very tasty, but the shelf life wasn't quite as great as store bought ones 5lbs of olives was a LOT for two people, and we didn't end up eating them all before they started to go. Maybe should have added some vinegar to the brine to keep it from growing stuff.

        The olives that resulted were tasty, although not so fantastic that I would mail order them again. If I happened to be at Arax and saw them, I might pick up a couple of pounds and do it again. It's not the right time of year, but I could have a "home-made" salad nicoise, with home-(pressure)-canned tuna in oil and home- cured olives, which would be pretty fun.

        1. re: cpingenot

          Cool, yah I just tried a salt cure and it did NOT work. Guess you gotta do the lye thing.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            I had so many olives that I did some with the lye and some with the salt, and the salt ones were a bust. Partly they got so scummy that I was scared to eat them, and partly they never softened. I think you might need a deep stone cellar to help keep the bacteria down. Although now that I've made sauerkraut, I think I have a higher tolerance for scummy.

            1. re: cpingenot

              BTW I bought the ones I tried from here; too late this year, but for the future:

              1. re: cpingenot

                I forgot my sauerkraut this year and it got pretty icky. I chucked it unfortunately. I have to get one of those pots that acts as a trap.

                Brined olives are a mystery. Mine never got soft even after months.

          2. re: StriperGuy

            If you want a good recipe for home cured olives, google the one from the NYT a couple of years ago - it's from an old Italian guy. I can send it if you want; email me at the address in my profile. I have had good luck with it using raw olives from WF - pricey but reasonable quality. Was at Arax today but didn't see any - very seasonal.

          3. I saw them at Whole Foods on River St. in Cambridge last week.