How Did They Eat Olives in Ancient Times?

Have you ever wondered how people in ancient times ate olives? Olives have been a staple food in the Mediterranean for thousands of years and were consumed by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. Let’s explore how they ate olives and how it compares to our modern-day methods.

Olives in Ancient Times

Olives were a crucial source of food and oil for the people of ancient times. They were often eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in various dishes.

However, unlike today, olives were not sold in jars or cans. Instead, they were stored in large clay jars called amphorae.

Methods of Eating Olives

There were several methods used to eat olives in ancient times. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Pounding Method

One common method was to pound the olives with stones or wooden mallets to remove their bitterness. The pounded olives were then soaked in water until they became less bitter.

2. Brine Method

Another method was to soak the olives in brine (a mixture of salt and water) for several months until they became less bitter and more flavorful.

3. Direct Consumption Method

Some people simply ate raw olives straight from the tree. However, this was not very common as raw olives are extremely bitter and not very palatable.

Serving Olives

Olives were often served at meals as a side dish or appetizer. They were typically served cold and seasoned with various herbs and spices such as thyme, oregano, and garlic.

Modern-Day Methods

Today’s methods for eating olives have come a long way from those used by our ancestors. Olives are now sold in jars and cans, making them easily accessible to people all over the world. They are also available in a variety of flavors and styles, such as stuffed olives and marinated olives.

Methods of Eating Olives Today

Some common methods for eating olives today include:

1. Direct Consumption Method

Many people still enjoy eating raw olives straight from the tree, although this is not recommended due to their bitter taste. Snack Method

Olives are a popular snack food and can be eaten on their own or mixed with other snacks such as nuts or cheese. Ingredient Method

Olives are often used as an ingredient in various dishes such as salads, pizzas, and pastas.

Serving Olives Today

Olives can be served in a variety of ways today. They are often served as an appetizer with cheese and crackers or as a garnish for cocktails. They can also be used as a topping for pizzas and salads or incorporated into various dishes to add flavor and texture.


In conclusion, olives have been consumed by humans for thousands of years and have played an important role in the Mediterranean diet. While the methods of consuming olives have changed over time, they remain a popular food today due to their delicious taste and numerous health benefits. So next time you enjoy a bowl of olives, take a moment to appreciate the long history behind this tasty treat!