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I've Never Bought Olives Before!

I was never big on olives until this summer, when I was traveling in the Balkans. It seemed like every vegetarian dish I ordered came topped with olives and soon they were my favorite part of the meal. So, how do people buy olives? I've seen cans of olives at the store- is that the normal way? I know some supermarkets also have sort of self-serve olive bars but I don't think they're very hygienic. Should I be going to a specialty store? What do you do? Thanks!

 
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  1. I tend to buy them in jars - more convenient than cans!

    just make sure you avoid "pizza olives" or "black olives" - they don't have any flavour. It's worth buying semi-decent quality ones.

    1. This Italian grocer I frequent has around 20 buckets of olives for sale. Some are stuffed, some aren't. But you use a ladle and scoop as many as you want into a plastic container, and they charge you by weight. I usually only eat these olives whole or skewered in a martini. They really are good. I'll buy the canned black olives for topping pizza or adding to tex-mex dishes, though...

      1. One of the highlights of a trip to Athens about 20 years ago was a visit to the market, where I discovered a rather large section where all kinds of olives were sold. I think I love Greek olives most of all, and didn't have time to try all the varieties.

        1. I too would avoid the cans of olives. Any grocery store will have a selection of decent olives. A way to up your chances if getting "good" olives is to buy a jar that is labeled with the variety. Also, be sure to buy them WITH the pits and remove the pits yourself.

          1. I buy the jarred olives, or the self serve. Canned only for the tasteless black ones for a few certain dishes.