National Olive Day Date in the current year: June 1, 2024

National Olive Day If you love olives, June 1 is a perfect day to treat yourself to a Greek salad, pizza with black olives or olive tapenade, or simply open a can of olives and snack on them throughout the day. Why? Because June 1 is National Olive Day!

Olives are fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea) native to the Mediterranean Basin. European colonists introduced the olive tree to other parts of the world, and today it is cultivated not only in all the countries of the Mediterranean, but also in Australia, New Zealand, the Americans, and South Africa. The world’s largest producers of olives are Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Portugal. They produce 95% of the world’s olives.

Fresh olives are not edible; they need to be processed before they can be consumed. Commercially produced olives are usually soaked in lye to reduce bitterness, then soaked in water and rinsed several times to remove all traces of the lye solution, and finally fermented in brine for at least 30 days. After fermentation, the olives are sorted, sometimes pitted, and then packaged. Pitted olives can be stuffed with lemon, peppers, anchovies, garlic, onions, tomatoes, nuts, cheese, capers, and other products.

The two main types of olives are green and black olives. Some people think that green and black olives come from different olive tree cultivars, but this is just a common misconception. In reality, them main difference between the two is that green olives are harvested before fully ripened, whereas black olives ripen before they are harvested and processed. Due to being more bitter, green olives are soaked in lye as described above, while black olives are cured in brine right away. As a result, green olives are usually saltier and tangier than black olives.

Olives can be served as a snack or an appetizer (on their own or as a part of a charcuterie board), or used as an ingredient in various dishes, such as salads, pizza, pasta, meat and vegetable stews, pies and quiches, omelets, paella, and many others.

National Olive Day was launched in 2015 by Divina, the flagship brand of the Mediterranean specialty foods producer and importer FOODMatch. It is observed on June 1 because a celebration of olives is a great way to conclude International Mediterranean Diet Month, which is observed by some people during the month of May.

There are many ways to celebrate National Olive Day. You can splurge on gourmet olives or a bottle of expensive olive oil, go out to a Mediterranean restaurant, host a Mediterranean dinner party for your friends and family, try new recipes with olives, visit an olive oil mill or olive orchard (if there is one near you), buy olive soap or skincare products with olive oil, and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalOliveDay and #OliveDay.

National Olive Day isn’t the only olive-related holiday. For example, World Olive Tree Day is celebrated annually on November 26. The UNESCO General Conference established it to raise awareness of the cultural, social, environmental, and economic importance of the olive tree.

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National Olive Day, food days, food holidays, observances in the US, unofficial holidays