Yes, olive appetizers are an easy and quick way to make your hors d'oeuvres table look amazing whilst impressing your family and friends with tasty little appetizers to whet their appetite.
You will see many green and black olives for sale in the shops and supermarkets but these are usually too heavily salted for most tastes.
You can soak these in water before using but if you can get the fresh ones so much the better. Often you can have a taster in the supermarket to see if you like them, so this is a good start and will give you an idea of which ones you would like to purchase.
You can also purchase them in jars usually in brine and sometimes in olive oil. Again, check the labels and if you prefer, you can also purchase them without the stones - so look for ones that have been 'pitted' if you want them without the stone.
Green olives are green because they have been harvested before they are fully ripe and they are very bitter when first harvested. They are soaked in water for a time to rid them of this taste.
French Green olives such as the Lucques can be found in Herault, Aude, and the Pyrenées-Orientales. The Picholine is grown in the Gard, Bouches-du-Rhône, Hérault and Aude; and the Solonenque is grown in the Bouches-du-Rhône
The black olives however have been left to ripen but both types are wonderful just on their own depending on your taste. I particularly love the black olives whilst some people prefer the green ones, it's just a matter of your taste buds.
French Black olives are grown in several regions, the Tanche in Drôme and Vaucluse; the Cailletier in Alpes-Maritimes and the Grossane in Bouches-du-Rhône.
Olive production in France is small compared to Spain and Italy yet the olive tree with it's crop of beautiful olives is the symbol of the south of France.
Other varieties of olives from the south of France include the aglandeau, bouteillan, negrette, rougette and
verdale and they have a wide
range of tastes from light and fruity to rich and spicy so something to please all tastes.
Olives for stuffing must be large and round and must of course have the stone removed if you are to stuff them with a tasty filling.
The easiest way to serve your olive appetizers is to buy the beautiful black olives or the Picholines which are usually sold preserved in a good quality olive oil, huile verge, served just as they are with a little of their marinade.
You may also purchase olives already stuffed with various fillings such as shrimp butter or tomato fillings and various types of cheeses.