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Briffard’s touch: olives

Briffard’s touch: olives

Olives are the fruit of a Mediterranean tree. Widely grown all over the Mediterranean, where they’ve been cultivated since biblical times, olives are mainly green and black, but can also come in many different shades in between. The difference in colour reflects not their variety, but the stage of ripening when picked.


The Chef Eric Briffard of the Cordon Bleu Institute is here to help you buy and store the best olives.

How to choose and store

You should buy some types of olives according to how it will be used. For example, you will not buy the same types for oil or consumption. 90% of olives are turned into oil whereas the rest are made to be eaten.

Usually, green olives are the plumpest and firmest, with a sharper taste. As black olives have been given longer time to ripen, they have a higher oil content, which gives them a milder flavour and softer texture. Look for glossy skins and, for maximum flavour impact, a small size and slight wrinkling.

Tinned or bottled olives should be stored in a cool, dark place until opened. They’ll last up to 12 months. After opening, keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Olives bought loose should also be kept in an airtight container and consumed within the same length of time.

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