Geoponica* make it clear that this should be the best compound of olives.
So, I followed the instructions and I used 2 kilos of large ripe olives gathered with the hand.
I cut them around with a razor blade (no, i didn’t use a sharp reed), threw them into a clay pot and sprinkled very fine salt over them.
When salt was dissolved ( it took 4 days) I had some sapa** in readiness in another clay jar.
I added citron leaves, seeds of wild fennel, carnabadium (ethiopic cumin), parsley seeds and seeds of dill and I poured the olives into the flavored, “syruped” grape must. The sapa covered them.
I put a plate on top of the olives to be sure they stay submerged and I sealed the jar. I stored it in the depths of a cool pantry, among several jars with olives preserved with ancient and old fashioned methods.
But things stored at the back can get forgotten….
Yes, I forgot that jar.
5 months later, I found it in the darkness of the almost empty pantry.
The aroma of cumin and fennel hit my nose as soon as I opened it, dill and parsley were barely noticable.
But the taste of the olives was unpleasantly salty- sweet and the texture was mushy and very, very soft … bliah.
Where did recipe go wrong?
Any suggestions are more than welcome.
*Cassianus Bassus is a late 6th – early 7th century author, whose “Eclogae de re rustica” is a compilation of agricultural literature drawing heavily on the work of another Greek compiler, Vindonius Anatolius (4th century). Bassus’ collection was revised by a 10th century unknown Byzantine author under the title Geoponica, in honor of the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. (XXVIII, Geoponika: Agricultural Pursuits by Thomas Owen 1805-06).
**Sapa: grape must, boiled over a slow fire until it had been reduced to 1/3; petimezi.
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