History of Greek Food




Geoponica” lists various methods for curing olives…  My second olive -experiment was olives preserved in honey… in two types of honey, actually. 1 kilo of almost ripe olives was cured in thyme honey and 400 grams were stored  in  “bitter” monofloral honey of strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo).

No aromatic seeds and leaves were added… but yes, I cut the olives around with a razor blade, sprinkled the same fine salt over them and  4 days later I poured them into the honey…  Yes, storage temperature was the same for all  olive fruits,  however, these ones were totally different from the olives cured in petimezi , which were a complete disaster.  Three months later, the honey treated olives  had a firm crunchy flesh and their nutty, salty taste was a nice complement to the strong taste of  honey.

In my opinion, the honey of strawberry tree works best on olives, though  both ancient Greeks and Byzantines preferred thyme honey …  I was amazed by the  outstanding flavor and the nice hit of bitterness.  Stunning result!

Olives cured in honey go perfect with cheese…. I could not resist the temptation to cook with them, though. Things that we think of as sweet go so well with cephalopods , so I used the olives to make  a filling and sauce for stuffed calamari (squid).




For the filling and sauce I used 30 medium sized  olives cured in honey, pitted and roughly chopped (or 1/2 cup raisins), mixed with 1 large onion (finely chopped), 2 cups of spinach (roughly chopped), 2/3 cup of wild fennel (chopped), salt and pepper.

I  stuffed 1 kg  small fresh, cleaned calamari  with the  filling, leaving a little room for it to expand.   I combined the remaining mixture with 300 gr chopped tomatoes and  1 tbs tomato paste and sautéed it with 4 tbs olive oil. I placed the squids in a casserole  and I  added the sauce, 1/2 – 3/4 cup of virgin olive oil, 4 tbs mavrodapne and water to cover. I covered the casserole and let simmer over low heat for about 45- 60 minutes,  until squid was tender.


How to clean the squid, here



Olives on Foodista

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  1. Traviata Minnella

    Orange zest goes so well with fennel and squid, I would leave out the spinach, though. And yes, orange juice instead of water. If you ll make the recipe, do let me know! I have had olives as gliko tou koutaliou. with honey though, i have not had them. interesting idea you have there with the squid. looks worth a try.

  2. Olive geek

    I did the honey cure from the Geoponika a couple of years ago, and I currently running it again. Both now and in 2012, I included the recommended spices. My experience has been that the honey ferments, so I effectively end up with a rather boozy-tasting mead-cured olive — very tasty. This time around I’m trying the hepsema (grape syrup) cure as well — I want to compare the two. I made my own hepsema from muscat grape juice from my local wine maker’s supply store. I gather from your comments above that you have tried this and were not successful. What happened?

    I’m running two other cures from the Geoponika — one that starts seawater, then transfers to fresh grape must, and the other that starts with salt and oil, then transfers to oxymel syrup.

  3. tasteofbeirut

    This idea sounds so great; I am an olive addict and have to limit my intake (worry about the salt) so I would love to try this; are you considering selling some?

  4. Tracey@Tangled Noodle

    These honey-cured olives sound amazing and even more so stuffed in squid! I’m not sure that I’ve come across olives here that are not already brined, cured, or prepared in some way. Even if I were to find some, finding honey from a strawberry tree would be the next challenge. 😎

    My apologies for using this space to also comment on your previous posts (I’m still trying to catch up) – I particularly enjoyed learning more about loquats (new to me) and reading about various festivals. There are countless food-centered festivals in every state here, either in celebration of cuisine or a specific foodstuff, but as you observed, they are often driven by economic goals rather than culinary traditions. But I would rather attend an artichoke or garlic or raspberry festival than the “Taste of [name of city]” restaurant marketing events that masquerade as a ‘regional/local food festival’.

  5. admin Post author

    Miriam, be patient until the autumn olive harvest! 🙂

    Magda, fennel, olives and cephalopods: typical Cretan combination.Αλλά οι ελιές στο μέλι δίνουν στο φαγητό τελείως διαφορετική διάσταση.

  6. admin Post author

    Tobias, how did olives spoon sweet taste? I’ve had olives as marmalade but i did not like it.

  7. tobias cooks!

    I have had olives as gliko tou koutaliou. with honey though, i have not had them. interesting idea you have there with the squid. looks worth a try.

  8. admin Post author

    Mar, squid (baby squid?) cooked in its own ink and PX sherry sounds like heaven! 🙂

  9. admin Post author

    Orange zest goes so well with fennel and squid, I would leave out the spinach, though. And yes, orange juice instead of water. If you’ll make the recipe, do let me know!

  10. Mar

    It is such a very interesting combination, olives+honey, love the idea. By the way, one of my favourite recipes is squid in its own ink with Pedro Ximénez Sherry (which gives the sweet touch and I agree with you, the combination of ¨Things that we think of as sweet INDEED go so well with cephalopods¨

  11. George (Athens)

    Μαριάνα, the combination of such olives with squid sounds just perfect! I would enrich the flavours of casserole with a bit of orange/lemon rind zest plus some orange juice instead of water. But it’s OK, u were on an experiment!

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