( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The fruit of the olive tree, which is extensively cultivated in Italy, Spain, and the South of France, partly for the green fruit, and partly for the oil which it yields when mature. Olives are oval in shape, with a smooth rind, and closely resemble a small half ripe plum. For the purposes of the table they are gathered when immature, and are then pickled in salt 1 and water, and barreled for exportation. The Italian olives are the best, then the French, and lastly the Spanish, which, though large, are not so well flavored. In choosing, select the light colored and bright looking ones ; those which have a blackish cast are unfit to eat.
Pickled olives are supposed to have peculiarly appetizing properties, but they are eaten chiefly with a view to remove the taste of food from the mouth, previously to enjoying the flavor of wine. They should be passed round after the soup.