October 20, 2019 - Beaten olives are a gastronomic delicacy that every traditional household along the Montenegrin coast awaits for in the winter. Many of them prepare themselves, and it is also possible to buy beaten olives at markets of local products. If you want to make them yourself, learn how Grandma Jane did, taught by her mother, who learned it from her mother, and so on for generations.
The process of preparing beaten olives is simple, though it takes at least nine days. Why nine? The best explanation lies in the taste, reached when the procedure is followed. It seems like someone took the measure long ago, allowing no more answers. That's it!
Preserved green olives, hard structures and unique taste, bathed in good olive oil, with garlic and rosemary - the olives prepared this way have only one flaw. When you start eating them, you can't stop.
The preparation process is time-consuming and quite demanding from today's perspective, but we can also take it as active meditation, at least in the first phase of preparation. And here's the thing.
Grandma Jane from the village of Vranovici in Grbalj interrupts her dawn job, only to make coffee. No matter what her neighbor comes to visit. As they sit in the yard drinking their first-morning coffee, Jane doesn't have time to leave olives; she still needs to cook lunch. In front of her is a wooden plank, on which, in a steady rhythm, with kitchen hammer, she beats each olive. She listened to her daughter this year, put on her gloves, so her hands won't be black with olives like almost all her life at this time of year.
Beaten olives go from the board to a bucket under the table, so she grabs a new handful of olives. It is essential to know how hard to hit the olive - it should burst without breaking too much. Nine days of treatment awaits them, and they have to "survive" until the end.
Whether you have prepared a kilo of olives, or ten, the procedure is the same. When beaten, the olives should be placed in a bowl and covered with boiling water. After the water has cooled, the olives lie in it until the next day at the same time, when we repeat the process. And then to the water, which must be salted before boiling. The amount of salt depends on the taste, and when you ask the old Bokelians
or the homemakers from Bar
, they will usually tell you "for a kilo of olives, throw in a handful of salt."
After 24 hours, beaten olives are done. All you have to do is add some chopped garlic and rosemary, and extra virgin olive oil.
Beaten olives adore roasted fish, chicory with potatoes, and various vegetable dishes. However, the most beautiful story is told with prosciutto and cheese from Lustica. You will not be wrong to serve them with any meal, because, unlike olives prepared in other ways, they have an irresistible, mild taste.