Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Olive You

I turned 32 last year. At the beginning of 2009, I didn't have a big list of resolutions. The main item on my list was to revisit certain foods from my past that I didn't think I liked. I know your tastes change as an adult so I thought I'd see if I could appreciate them now. The main things on my list of food aversions are broccoli, olives, grapefruit and cauliflower. I actually managed to get over two of them. I think broccoli and cauliflower have a similar issue and that is texture. It makes me gag. I also cannot stand the way they smell when they're cooked. I'm not a picky eater when it comes to veggies but I refuse to eat them.

I absolutely fell in love with olives last year. Head over heels. They're so luscious and salty and meaty. My youth in Alabama only saw the canned black olives that you get on the salad bar and I was repelled while my sister, Allison, ate piles and piles of them.

The first time that olives started to appeal to me had to have been while visiting my inlaws. They splurge on nice edibles from a local Italian market and often purchase a lovely blend of them. I remember thinking they were gorgeous and lamenting over the fact that I "didn't like them". That was what inspired me to try them all again.

I remember the first time I went for an olive. It was at this diner in Princeton that I keep meaning to write about because they have excellent Greek food. Their vegetarian platter is amazing and the hummus is topped with a few kalmata olives with pits. I always offered mine to Chris who gladly accepted them. One day, instead of handing them over, I decided to eat one. I knew to expect a seed so I cautiously sunk my tooth through the skin. The salt exploded in my mouth and I tried not to let it overwhelm me as I analyzed the flavors. These were definitely different than the ones I'd grown up with and I immediately wondered where these had been my whole life.

Needless to say, I am making up for 31 years of lost time now. I put them in a lot of stuff and I also just munch them straight from the jar.

Pictured above is the international blend that is hand selected and mixed by a true master foodie at Bon Appetit in Princeton. I haven't yet written about this place but it's one of my absolute favorites in the entire area. Before I started with resolution to start bringing my own lunch, I spent mucho moolah here.

I could dedicate a whole section of this blog to the specialty items I buy in this place that make eating a true joy. I joke that since I don't spend lots of money on meat that I can afford to splurge on the occasional $15 cheese or $10 container of salt. Their selection of olives in beautiful crocks is very impressive. As you can see by the picture, they come in all colors and sizes. It's amazing how unique they all are. I used to give these guys the cold shoulder but now I can safely say that we are BFFs.

Bon Appetit
301 N Harrison St.
Princeton, NJ 08540


  1. That's funny ... my mother LOVED olives and I absolutely abhorred them. Oily, pungent, spongy and slippery - I couldn't find anything good about them. Even the colour seemes boring.

    But as with other things, I know about "acquired" tastes and would test one now and then. And then one day, it was like some amazing revelation. I suddenly LOVED olive and, like you, have been making for lost time.

    Thanks for sharing!