What are "frying olives"?

There was a big bin of wrinkly, dry, almost jujube-looking little orbs at a farmers market stand this morning. They were labeled "frying olives." The farmer said you just fry them for a few minutes and serve, but I wanted to see if anyone else knew any more about them.

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6 Comments

Joanna S. October 1, 2018
Another response (and photo!) from community member Nancy Harmon Jenkins:

In my experience, these are a particular variety of olive available in Puglia and possibly in a few other parts of the Italian south. But they are treasured in Puglia, especially at this time of the year. Curiously, they need no curing and although no one eats them off the tree, they are often sautéed in abundant olive oil, preferably new season but last year's will do as well. I'm attaching a photo taken in the market in Martina Franca a couple of years ago.
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Hervert E. September 27, 2018
Wondering if anyone got further intel on what these are and how to deal with them? I too just found these at a farmer's market (San Francisco Civic Center; from De Santis Farms of Fresno) and had never heard of them before. I'm trying to figure out how best to prepare them, but Googling "frying olives" just gives me tons of recipes for frying already-cured olives. There must be another name for this variety of olive, and I'm betting that name is the key to finding a lot more info that's already out there. Has anyone had any luck?
 
Nancy November 13, 2017
I know "fried olives"...either plain or stuffed. Very tasty. Usually coated in flour egg breadcrumbs. May be related to what you found in farmer's market.
http://thewanderlustkitchen.com/deep-fried-olives/
https://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/deep-fried-stuffed-green-olives-shop
 
Redd H. November 13, 2017
I came here with the same question after finding some at the farmers' market and being given the same instructions. I get where the other two answers are coming from but these olives are not processed at all. Fresh off the tree, not cured. Fried them up with some garlic, oil, and salt. Bitter but interesting flavor!
 
Droplet January 4, 2012
For a while now we have been getting these wrinkly black olives that ,if I have understood right, have been steamed at some point in the curing process. They are softer than other olives, greasier on the outside and their pit is/ or has detached from them on the inside. They are very flavorful. You could try to reconstitute the ones at your market and see if you like them. They might have something in common with the ones I have.
 
bigpan January 4, 2012
I've not heard the term but have enjoyed many European olive markets. I would take the advice of the vendor and fry them a minute. You can do this with any kind of olive. Take some olives and taste test yourself cold from the fridge, warm at room temp, and heated in the oven or a frying pan...I am sure you will notice the differences.
Many recipes (European) can increase in flavor by adding olives (and cutting back on salt).
Visit a good Italian or Greek deli and buy an assortment of olives and have fun - not just for cooking, but nice with vodka too !
 
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