Table Olives – Picking & Sorting


Sunday 16 November, 2014 by Uncle Spike



Picking olives for oil production is one thing, but for table olives, that is, the ones you want to eat and present at your breakfast table, it’s another ball-game all together. Picking for olive oil production requires zero finesse, and olives of any colour or condition (apart from a sloppy mouldy sludge), can be used. But you wouldn’t want that served at your table, now would you?

First of all, for table olives, I only ever pick them one by one, by hand. I also place them in tubs right where I am up in the tree, and never throw them down into a bucket. Bruising them is very easy and they discolour quickly.




Second job is to ensure that only the A Grade ones are kept. Any that have been visited by a passing bug, are damaged or blemished are rejected. But no great loss, they go into the pile for oil production.








I then remove any stems that are still in place – you don’t want them served to your guests!




Finally, even though I don’t spray our crops, I wash all the olives before starting the processing stage. 




Next I plan to get a couple of posts up together to explain the different types of processing we apply in preparing, curing and preserving our table olives. Watch this space…


19 thoughts on “Table Olives – Picking & Sorting

  1. […] a previous post, we looked at how olives for table use, rather than oil production, are picked, sorted and […]


  2. kcinaz says:

    I have olive trees lining the street outside my property and I tried to preserve the olvies with a salt pack. I would love to learn how you preserve using your olive method and give it a try. If I have to endure the allergies from the little buggers the least I could do is enjoy eating them too. My first batch several years ago was a failure! Please share more!


  3. Mei-Mei says:

    Oh I am very excited for these posts because olives are one of my favorite foods. I had such good ones in Spain, and I’m sure yours are great, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dayphoto says:

    I loved this post! I’m enjoying learning all the neat things that you do and how you prepare your food. I love Olives so this really interesting!



  5. Sue Slaght says:

    Very much looking forward to the process of how they get to the table Spike. Then the question is how do we get them to Canada? 🙂


  6. lamputts says:

    Really looking forward to reading about the curing side, something I’ve always wondered about but never actually done anything to find out. Now I’ll wait for the blog 🙂


  7. I learned something here…thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like Vothikhanhhoa has said, I have never seen an olive tree except on screen; but I know about olives. Let me say ‘thank you’ to the hardworking people of Spain, Turkey and the other olive-producing countries for the delicious olives they give the world. I enjoy them especially at parties. Thank you Uncle Spike for your site. I have spent a good time here.I promise to be nice and generous when you come for the second leg of the match (return visit).Best regards.


  9. I got a fascination for olives when I started to travel in Spain. I was staggered at just how many trees there were. Spain is responsible for 45% of the world’s olives. Turkey has an estimated 250 million olive trees or 3 trees for every person.
    Who owns the trees that grow in the pavements. I saw some of these in Altinkum including one that was being enthusiastically harvested and was producing a surprisingly bumper crop!


  10. I have never seen an olive tree in my life. The olive harvest is awesome, I love to see the way you collect them and then sorting them to ensure the best quality. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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