Oh How Olive You

Castelvetrano Olives

The beautiful lush green olives you see above are of the Nocellara del Belice variety grown in Castelvetrano, Sicily. I first encountered these at Peasant restaurant where they serve them on the bar in lieu of boring clichéd bar snacks like nuts or pretzels. The stunning bright green color just catches your eye and makes your mouth water. Then you taste it and it’s like a moment of awakening. Unlike any other olive, the Castelvetrano has a fresh green buttery flavor and a meaty, juicy texture. While other olives taste like they are of indeterminate age, the vegetal vibrance of these just exudes freshness. The olives are harvested young and cured in a very light brine. If you are turned off by olives that are too salty or overly assertive in flavor, then you must give Castelvetranos a try. But of course there’s a catch- depending on where you live, they might be pretty hard to find. If you’re in NYC, you can get them from Di Palo’s in Little Italy, currently selling for $7.99/lb. Coincidentally, I ran into David Rosengarten shopping there this past Sunday. I hadn’t seen him since since my birthday dinner at Daisy May’s a few years ago, but it wasn’t surprising to see him at Di Palo’s; foodies all know the best places to shop! Alternatively, you can always stop into Peasant and grab a seat at the bar. They don’t always have Castelvetranos on the bar, but frequently they do. Peasant has great food anyway, so even if they don’t have these glorious olives on the day of your visit, it is still worth the trip. If you’re lucky enough to be there when Vicky High Life is bartending, she can steer you to some of my favorite menu items. But be sure to save room for dessert- their panna cotta and their bread pudding are the best renditions of those classics I’ve ever tasted. Then after dessert if you linger at the bar enjoying your wine, let’s see if you can resist having a few more Castelvetrano olives. My guess is no. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Oh How Olive You”

  1. Money – I just put “Have drinks and dinner with Money at Peasant” on my bucket list. It sounds amazing!

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