Hurma Olive

Ark of taste
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The Hurma olive is a type local to the areas of Karaburun, Urla and Seferihisar on the Izmir Peninsula along Turkey’s eastern coast. It is a sub-variety of the Erkence olive that undergoes a natural debittering process. Thanks to local climactic conditions, the olives go through a ‘sweetening’ process on the tree, and can then be consumed without any further treatment. This process occurs naturally in the fall. By contrast, most fresh olive varieties are bitter and must be processed with lye or brine before consumption. Although the fat content of this variety is high, the sweet Hurma olive is not generally used to make olive oil. Because they do not need to be brined, they are considered good for those following low-salt diets. The Hurma olives can be found on the market, but cost more than ordinary table olives. Low consumer awareness of the qualities of this variety mean that it is not often sought out in markets. The production of this variety is quite limited and not very stable, and the olives have a short shelf life once picked. In recent years, many olive groves in the region have switched to growing varieties from northern Turkey, instead of this local olive sub-species.

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