Has anyone heard of mousslinas olive (spelling)? Used to be a Jewish deli staple

Black, somewhat wrinkled, salty, soft and meaty inside

Sncohen@shaw.ca
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6 Comments

Hollyj July 18, 2022
Absolutely! My Jewish grandfather had several Greek friends, back in Minneapolis where I grew up. He often bring home these olives in little white takeout containers and called them mouslinnas. He even knew some Greek phrases. Thanks for reminding me of this memory!
 
robinb June 12, 2022
I remember "maslinas" olives at the deli, from a time before kalamatas dominated the market for brine-cured black olives. (Maslina, it turns out, is the Serbo-Croatian word for olive.) The taste was similar but they were softer and meatier, as you say, as well as larger, rounder, and paler overall -- more brown than black. I think the closest item available commercially today would be "royal" greek black olives, or some importers like Krinos sell a brine-cured Greek black olive that is not specifically kalamata and looks about the same as the long-ago deli variety (browner, bigger, rounder).
 
AntoniaJames August 31, 2021
Only here on the Hotline could you get the great ideas of Nancy and drbabs to answer this interesting question on a topic unfamiliar to many of us . . . . . (now if I could just find some of those olives!!).

From your description, SNCOHEN, those sound like cured black olives. I've seen them in every Whole Foods Market olive bar from which I've shopped, as well as in good Italian delis.

I did a quick search including as a term "Joan Nathan," who is an expert on Jewish foods and cooking; I found that she has a tempting biscuit recipe, https://forward.com/food/459902/buttery-olive-biscuits-scourtins/ which calls for cured black Picholine or Moroccan black olives. I might start there . . .

;o)
 
[email protected] August 31, 2021
Thanks to drbabs and Nancy for their responses. I’ll check out the follow-ups suggested.
 
Nancy August 31, 2021
Haven't heard of or seen these.
In addition to drbabs suggestions, here are a few sources who may know more:
David Sax, journalist who wrote the book, Save the Deli, and has done extensive travel and research to back up the book.
https://saxdavid.com/
List of "20 stellar delis around NYC" by eater.
https://ny.eater.com/maps/best-new-york-city-delicatessens
 
drbabs August 30, 2021
I haven’t. (I’m Jewish but I grew up in New Orleans so I’m not familiar with Jewish deli staples.) From your description it sounds like they were dry salt cured https://www.thespruceeats.com/dry-salt-cured-olives-1327914

Here’s a deep dive into olives that I hope is helpful. https://www.seriouseats.com/guide-to-olive-varieties
 
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