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Oil-Cured (Salt-Cured) Beldi Olives

POSTED August 30, 2018

Grown in Morocco, Beldi olives are small and shriveled with a chewy texture. The fruits are often processed through salt-curing, which yields a robust, salty, and pleasantly bitter olive.

Growing Region and Harvesting

Beldi olive trees thrive in Morocco, where olives are an integral part of the cuisine and culture. As legend has it, Greek colonizers on Sicily brought olive trees to Morocco, where they thrived in the tropical climate.

Beldi olives are harvested late in the season when they are at their full ripeness, typically near the end of Fall. The product is fully cured by the end of the following March.

Curing

Beldi olives are processed through a unique salt-cure method. This is accomplished by taking the newly-harvested olives and placing them in alternating layers of sea salt. During the curing process, the barrels are rolled to disperse the salt among the olives and promote oxidation. After curing is finished, the olives have a wrinkly appearance with a chewy texture similar to sun-dried tomatoes or dried fruit.

Pairings

In kitchen creations, these salty gems are perfect for pairing with vibrant citrus and sweet caramelized onions. Make a simple appetizer by pairing them with oranges, raw fennel slices, and olive oil seasoned with black pepper. As a ready-to-entertain antipasto, serve Beldi olives alongside ricotta salata, orange slices, and a bold Cabernet Sauvignon.

Quick Facts

  • Beldi olives have a deep hue ranging from dark brown to black, with a distinct wrinkled appearance from curing.
  • It’s a common misconception that this variety is “oil-cured,” because the olives are packed and preserved in oil.

Did You Know…?

Salt curing dehydrates the fruits, causing the chewy texture that is unlike most other olive varieties.