I used to be extremely envious of people enthusiastically digging into a plate of olives with their little wooden cocktail sticks because I vehemently hated them, both the texture and the taste, and I really couldn't see what all the fuss was about. However, moving forward a few decades, I've forced myself to eat them and now, I can quite happily state I adore olives.
So why do some people hate them and others love them? It could be to do with the processing of the olives. Olives picked straight from the tree taste very bitter so they have to go through a curing process to make them edible. Their flavour can then be enhanced by marinating them to make them more appealing.
Perhaps olive haters have had the misfortune to have eaten some bitter olives or maybe it's just because they contain all four of the basic flavours - sweet, salty, astringent and sour and for some reason this affects the overall tasting experience.
One very good reason to start liking them is they're definitely one of natures superfoods. Great for the digestion, they're also packed full of antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids which are good for blood cholesterol levels and may even lower them slightly.
And, did you know that the average life of an olive tree is between 300 and 600 years and they can live for well over 1000 years? That's a whole lot of olives from one single tree.
Do you love olives or do you hate them?