How Are Olives Pickled?
An unusual thing about the olive is that it cannot be eaten fresh from the tree. Fresh olives have a bitter taste that must be removed by pickling before the fruit can be eaten.
To pickle olives, both green olives and ripe olives are given a lye-water bath to remove the bitter taste, and then thoroughly washed in fresh water. After washing, the olives are soaked for several days in big brine (salt water) vats.
The olives marinate in brine, changed daily, for a week. During that time their original bitterness will leach out into the water.
The pickled olives are then canned in brine. The pitting of olives is done by placing the pickled fruit beneath metal pins, which punch out the pits.