Bella di Cerignola Olives – Too Much Iron, No Good.

If you are “in the know” of all things italian – true italian – you would not order cappuccino after 11 in the morning. You would also not ask for a pitted Bella di Cerignola olive. They do not exist. The real Bella di Cerignola has a firm, meaty flesh and pointed pit, which cannot be removed. Look how large these olives are, on the left, in my hand. They come green and black, my favorite. The black olives are not born black, from the tree. They have to be treated; and here is where the artisanal process really differs from the industrial one. With the industrial process, the olives are subject to strong jets of water continuosly (the air induces the oxidation of the olives and they become black). Artisan Fratepietro does this for 15 days. A work of love and patience. The industrial olive makers, instead, cut short the process to only 5 days and reach  the “desired blackness” by adding a cheap chemical (gluconnato ferroso) identified as “iron” on the label. So, here is the difference: Fratepietro’s Olives‘ iron content is 15mg/kilo (you still need some of it to keep the olives black), the Bella di Cerignola olives from the big companies have an iron content up to 150mg/kilo. Any more than that, it would be against the law, because it is bad for you. Read the label!!! Or, buy Fratepietro Bella di Cerignola Olives!!!