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Preparing olives (azeitonas)

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This is my Uncle Firmino in his work shed in Almancil, Portugal. "Maybe you can´t see too well. What time is it? These olives are very small." My family lives in Algarve, the southern-most part of Portugal - a few kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea. They grow figs, carobs, almonds, walnuts, oranges, tangerines, lemons, pawpaws, passion fruit, grapes, olives, and other foods. Tonight when I visited I found him preparing some of his olives. It´s around 10:00 p.m., so the video is kind of dark. He is partially crushing each green olive on a stone slab with a mallet. His wife and sister are talking in the background. I ask, "Why do you have to open them?" "I have to open them so they´ll be good." "They take up the water over a couple days in here, and then..." "But it´s not just water in there, right?" Water, salt, and vinegar" "And oregano." "Oregano?" "Yes, ma'am." "And other people put in other ingredients?" "I also put in ___?___" "What? Almonds?" "______. Look, it´s over there, by your aunt. See? It´s that one, yes, that one there." My aunt: "Take the picture of the plant. I don´t want to be in the picture." I crushed some and smelled it. Still have no idea what herb it is. ?? They are making plans for the week as he continues. The black bucket on the left has the raw pre-smashed olives, the blue barrel contains brine. Raw olives need to soak in brine for a week or more to lose their bitterness. Commercial olives are treated with a caustic soda instead. He has the heavy paper around the stone slab to catch the olives that otherwise would end up on the ground. This isn´t hard, but very labor intensive. Each little olive has to be smashed. After the olives have been in the brine solution long enough, he stores them in glass jars for everyday use. "Well, Linda, now you´ve seen how to crack olives." "And these are from which tree?" My aunt Irene: "The tree right outside." My aunt Leonor: "The one a little way away next to the fig tree? It gives green olives." My uncle is saying that some are from his orchard, on another piece of land. (I can´t get everything with the other noises.) "One day I´ll take you to see the orchard again." Aunt Leonor, laughing at me: "Linda Maria wants to go see the carob factory. It´s so far away, so far!"

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 41 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: Portugal
Producer: Linda Galvao
Views: 98
Posted by: lindagalvao on Sep 6, 2011

My uncle describes how he prepares olives from his trees in the traditional Portuguese manner.
Spoken language : Portuguese. Subtitles: English.

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