Do Olives Go Bad?

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Olives are fruits obtained from plants of the same name subjected to a maceration process to remove the bitter taste they have due to a glycoside component they have. Once it has been processed, it can be eaten whole, ground, and used to make oil.

You may have bought a container full of olives in the market to make a dish because your recipe asked for it, or you may be thinking of buying them for that same purpose. In either case, you may be concerned to know if they have gone bad and how to store them properly. If this is the case, you have come to the right place, and here you will learn everything you need to know about it.

How to store Olives

Olives provide a multitude of nutrients and health benefits because it has oleic acid, which is also found in other foods such as avocado, walnut, and almond. The benefits of olives can only be obtained when they are in good condition, and to keep them that way, you must know how to store them properly.

To start talking about storing olives, you should first know that there are different types on the market, there are green and black, and there are whole ones, those without seeds, those that are stuffed with cheese, and those that are stuffed with pepper. Despite so much variety, they are preserved in similar ways.

What makes the difference between the preservation of olives is the liquid in which they are submerged. Some come in brine, and others come in oil. Each one is treated in different ways that you should know to be prepared for each case.

Olives in brine

As long as they are in their packaging without being opened, there will be no problem storing them at room temperature. All you need to do to keep the olives properly is to find a mostly dark place, be cool and dry. The pantry usually combines all these characteristics, so you shouldn’t have problems if you decide to use it.

It should be noted that olives are especially sensitive to sunlight and high temperatures, so exposure to direct sunlight in the place where they are stored can be very harmful.

When you have opened the packaging in which they are stored, you must bear in mind that it is necessary to close it again to keep them sealed. If it is not possible because the container does not allow it, we recommend pouring the olives with their brine in an airtight container.

If, for some reason, you have discarded the brine from the olives, you should not worry because it is possible to prepare more. Add half a tablespoon of salt for each cup of water, and this will be more than enough to replicate the liquid in which they should be kept.

Olives in oil

In this case, there is not much to say. Regardless of whether the olives container has been opened or is completely closed, you have to make sure that it is always sealed, and you must keep it refrigerated in both situations.

Can You Freeze Olives?

If you have bought your olives but do not want to consume them at the moment and think about whether it will be possible to store them in the long term, you should not worry because it can be done. As we mentioned before, the methods to do it depend on the liquid in which they are stored.

In the case of olives in brine, you have to drain them, dry them and store them in an airtight container suitable for the freezer. The olives will expand, so you should leave some room in the container.

In the case of olives in oil, you can freeze them directly as they include the oil. You can also pour them into an airtight container or use a tray in which the ice cubes are made and have the option of taking exactly the amount you need when you want to use them.

How Long Does Olives Last

When we talk about the duration of olives, the liquid in which they are stored is what makes the difference. But in any case, it can last a couple of months in good condition as long as it is properly stored.

If the olives come in brine, they usually bring labels indicating the deadline until which they are recommended to be consumed. Still, once this period has elapsed, they can remain optimal as long as the packaging has not been opened. Once this occurs, that extended duration is reduced to around three weeks.

In the case of the olives that come in an oily liquid, they also have packaging with labels, and as the brine version, they can continue to be consumed after the deadline has passed. Unlike the brine version, its duration when the package is closed or open is practically the same, one month after the date on the label has passed.

How to Tell If Olives Is Bad

There comes a time when the olives go bad, so after having been stored for a certain time, you should check them to see if they are still in good condition before consuming them to avoid getting sick due to bad food.

If you have not opened the packaging in which the olives come, you should first look at it. If it is leaking, if it looks broken, or if it has any opening, it is not safe to consume those olives. If the packaging is good, then you should look at the olives. If they smell rancid or just bad or have unpleasant textures, or have some mold, you should discard them.

If your olives do not have any of these characteristics, then it is safe to consume them and use them in any dish you may want to prepare.


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