Raw olives at all stages of maturation are bitter and mostly inedible , and require processing before being suitable for consumption.
The most common method of curing Spanish Olives is done using a solution of Sodium hydroxide (lye, or caustic soda) and water to debitter the olives.
After harvest, the raw Green olives are cured with caustic soda, washed, and then placed in brine in which they undergo complete fermentation.
The lye solution quickly takes out the bitterness from the olives by pulling out the oleuropein and phenolic compounds.
Since the lye debitters the olives so quickly, this process only takes 3 months to cure.
The olives ripen to a specific texture and bright green -yellow coloured.
The Natural brine style is done using just a salt solution to debitter and ferment the olives.
After harvest, the olives are processed by natural fermentation in a 8-10% salt solution for 3-12 months.
This process best represents the true taste of the fruit, you will notice slight differences in ripeness, a more natural colour.
Natural olives in Brine are relatively firm and smooth with a glossy skin.
The finish product retains some fruity and nice bitter flavours.