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Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

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Basically, the green olives are the unripe fruit whereas the black ones have ripened on the tree. Both green and black olives are stored in brine or marinaded in olive oil and served as meze, or with beyaz peynir for breakfast. Parts of the Aegean and Mediterranean, particularly around Kuşadasi and Ayvalik, are dotted with lush olive groves, and the cuisines of the area incorporate both green and black olives in some special fish dishes and bread doughs. The hardy olive trees, which are able to survive in poor soil, grow in different geographical pockets of Turkey, thus producing fruit as diverse as the regions they grow in: large juicy, purple olives; succulent reddish-green, sweet olives; thin, unripe, bitter ones; roundish, wrinkled black ones.