"When properly prepared, olives like nuts supply the place of butter and flesh meats. Oil as eaten in the olive is far preferable to animal oil or fat. It serves as a laxative. Its use will be found beneficial to consumptives and it is healing to an inflamed, irritated stomach."
The olive contains more protein than any of the other common fruits, and with the exception of the alligator pear is the only one containing any appreciable amount of oil. Until within a few years we have been eating this valuable fruit in its unripe state, but now we get it, both imported and home grown, ripe. There is just as much difference between a ripe and green olive as between a ripe and green apple.
The ripe olive is black or dark brown in color (according to where it was grown) and has its full quota of oil. After one has eaten ripe olives for a time, the green ones will have a harsh, rank taste to him. It is also much easier to acquire a taste for the ripe olive. The large, luscious ones with meat as thick as that of a good sized plum are truly delightful.
Those hurried on to the eastern market from California before the holidays are not thoroughly ripened, but there are some growers who hold them until properly matured before gathering. Olives are better just soaked a little and eaten in that state than to be used in cooked dishes; but when used in soups or sauces, add without cooking just before serving.
Ripe olives are a valuable substitute for butter with bread, giving an emulsified oil instead of a free fat, with no germs of tuberculosis or other diseases.
The dried olives sold by Italian grocers require a long soaking and several changes of water. They, too, become stronger flavored by cooking. They are considerably cheaper than the bottled ones but much less delicate in flavor.