Darkening Pickled Olives
Is there anything that will make olives keep their black color when put
into lye? When I put my first picking of ripe olives in lye, a large
part of them turn green, the black leaving the fruit. My formula is one
pound of lye to five gallons of water. Have you any better formula?
By exposing the olives to the light and air, either during the salting
or immediately after, ripe olives may be given a uniformly black color.
Also, fruit which is less ripe and which shows red and green patches
after processing with lye, becomes an almost uniform dark brown color.
To do this, the olives are removed from the brine and exposed to light
and air freely for one or two days. Your lye was stronger than
necessary. With ripe olives it is desirable to use salt and lye together
to prevent softening, and the common prescription is two ounces of
potash lye and four ounces of salt to the gallon of water after the
bitterness is largely removed by using one or two treatments with two
ounces of lye to the gallon without the salt. It is necessary to draw
off the solution, rinse well, and put on fresh solution several times
during the process to get the best results.
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