Ingredient Name: Olives (Fresh)

Traditional Chinese Name: 橄欖 (Gǎnlǎn)

One of the more expensive breeds of ginseng available on the market, it is usually recommended for consumption during confinement.  There are many types, sizes, makes, and species of ginseng available on the market and while they don’t smell fragrant in a beautiful way (to me at least), I don’t mind drinking it once in awhile.

What is this?
  • The small, oval-shaped fruit of the olive tree which measure roughly 1-2 inches in length
  • It is a major component in the Mediterranean, European, North Africa and Middle Eastern cuisine
  • The color of olives depends on how ripe they were picked (green being more raw and picked relatively early while black means they are more ripe)
  • There is a hard, round seed in every olive fruit and is usually extracted for consumption
  • Olives are often eaten processed, cooked or used as Olive oil in cooking (they are not often eaten raw off the tree because they are bitter)

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage
  • Using a flat edge knife, smash the olives to remove the pits (or seeds) before usage in soups – this also helps release more flavours

Where can I buy this?

  • Most western supermarkets will carry this
  • Also available in wet marts as fresh produce in Hong Kong

What is the cost?

  • Relatively affordable

Any benefits?

  • High in monounsaturated fat, iron, Vitamin E and dietary fiber
  • Olives are great antioxidants (to help reduce the accumulation of free radicals which cause heart disease, premature aging
  • Olive oil is an excellent substitute for butter and animal fats in cooking and is proven to be healthier

Any precautions?

  • Take caution when purchasing canned or processed olives.  Some of the processes increase the amount of acrylamide (a chemical that is a hazard to human health) in the product and is recommended to purchase fresh olives for consumption.

Additional Information

  • Canned or bottled olives can store well in a dry environment unopened up until the expiry date
  • Fresh olives should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few weeks