Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-13-2004, 03:25 AM
pilot141 pilot141 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mostly Texas
Posts: 1,540
Olives + pimiento = why?

I've done all kinds of searches of the database and Google on this, only to come up with many informative but useless histories of the olive. So.

As I sat here tonight and ate a few very tasty jalapeno-stuffed olives, I started wondering about why they are such a "specialty" food. (Olives stuffed with jalapenos, that is.) How did the pimiento become the de-facto standard stuffing for olives?

Is this simply an Americanism, or does the rest of the world consider pimiento-stuffed olives the standard processed olive?

And how did the lowly pimiento achieve such status? Where would it be without the olive today?
  #2  
Old 05-13-2004, 06:53 AM
Liberal Liberal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Gone
Posts: 39,401
In pimento cheese sandwiches all over the South. Yummy.
  #3  
Old 05-13-2004, 05:00 PM
The Green Feather The Green Feather is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Poolesville, MD
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Libertarian
In pimento cheese sandwiches all over the South. Yummy.
I've never heard of pimiento cheese. In fact I've never heard of any other uses for pimiento. Was pimiento invented just for olives, and southern sandwiches? Is it used for anything else, ever?
__________________
It's easier to answer a stupid question than it is to fix a stupid mistake.

You can't cure stupid. You have to kill it.
  #4  
Old 05-13-2004, 05:36 PM
silenus silenus is offline
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,557
"Since pimentos are sweet and indigenous to the Mediterranean, it's easy to imagine an innovative farmer or chef way back when thinking they would make the perfect neutralizer to the olive's natural acidity."

Well, I have to admit that most of my pimento consumption is in pimento cheese sammiches. But I have seen them used in soups and stews, and I myself have occasionally put them in dips and things like that.

Pimento Cheese Spread

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 4 ounce jar diced pimentos, drained well
1/2 cup mayonnaise may need a little more
Dash of cayenne powder optional
1-2 garlic cloves minced optional

Mix all together until well blended. Serve with crackers or use as a sandwich filling.

Source:
Newsgroups: rec.food.recipes
__________________
I coulda used more cowbell.
  #5  
Old 05-14-2004, 11:02 AM
RiverRunner RiverRunner is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 1,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus
[I
Pimento Cheese Spread

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 4 ounce jar diced pimentos, drained well
1/2 cup mayonnaise may need a little more
Dash of cayenne powder optional
1-2 garlic cloves minced optional

Mix all together until well blended. Serve with crackers or use as a sandwich filling.

Source:
Newsgroups: rec.food.recipes

<Hobbes>Now you've got me all hungry. </Hobbes>


RR
__________________
"You know the definition of the perfectly designed machine...The
perfectly designed machine is one in which all its working parts wear out simultaneously. I am that machine."
-- Lord Cherwell to Lord De L'Isle (1957)
  #6  
Old 05-14-2004, 11:39 AM
peepthis peepthis is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: ...and around the corner
Posts: 1,426
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Green Feather
I've never heard of pimiento cheese. In fact I've never heard of any other uses for pimiento. Was pimiento invented just for olives, and southern sandwiches? Is it used for anything else, ever?
Let us not forget pimento loaf, that questionable lunchmeat you can find next to the bologna in many supermarkets. It's the bane of schoolchildren's lunches everywhere.
__________________
"peepthis sounds like a person who understands social standards." -- j.c.
  #7  
Old 06-27-2016, 10:12 AM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 14,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Green Feather View Post
I've never heard of pimiento cheese. In fact I've never heard of any other uses for pimiento. Was pimiento invented just for olives, and southern sandwiches? Is it used for anything else, ever?
Whenever I make a tuna casserole or Chicken à la King, I always dump in a small jar of pimientos. Deee-licious!
  #8  
Old 05-13-2004, 10:41 AM
Shrinking Violet Shrinking Violet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 1,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilot141
Is this simply an Americanism, or does the rest of the world consider pimiento-stuffed olives the standard processed olive?
It's pretty standard in the UK, too. Yummm.
__________________
Location: UK
  #9  
Old 05-13-2004, 10:57 AM
Paladin_005 Paladin_005 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2
The word pimiento is spanish for pepper, therefore the combination obviously originated in spain. Why do americans thinks that everything is about them?
  #10  
Old 05-13-2004, 11:21 AM
bienville bienville is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,948
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin_005
Why do americans thinks that everything is about them?
Aw, c'mon. Just the fact that pilot is asking whether or not it is an Americanism shows that he's is not making any assumption on the matter and is interested in hearing from those who might be more broadly familiar with the topic.

He has experienced it in American, that's his starting point on the way to an answer, then he asks if it is standards elsewhere.
  #11  
Old 05-13-2004, 12:08 PM
silenus silenus is offline
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,557
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin_005
The word pimiento is spanish for pepper, therefore the combination obviously originated in spain. Why do americans thinks that everything is about them?
Or it could have originated in Mexico, Guatamala, Chile, Bolivia, Costa Rica, a myriad other Spanish-speaking countries, or it could have been discovered by a Spanish-speaking Croat, for that matter. I find your automatic condemnation of Americans to be more insulting than the OP was to you. :wally
__________________
I coulda used more cowbell.
  #12  
Old 05-14-2004, 12:53 PM
daffyduck daffyduck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin_005
The word pimiento is spanish for pepper, therefore the combination obviously originated in spain. Why do americans thinks that everything is about them?
Great logic. How do you figure that just because pimento is a Spanish word that the practice of stuffing them in olives is Spanish in origin?
  #13  
Old 05-14-2004, 01:06 PM
bughunter bughunter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Sol3, Orion Arm, MilkyWay
Posts: 2,581
Well, could it be because green olives stuffed with pimientos are frequently sold in little glass jars with labels bearing the words Spanish Olives?

Just a hunch.
__________________
"Unchecked right-wing media power means that in the United States today, no issue can be honestly debated and no election can be fairly decided." -- David Brock, former conservative journalist and "right-wing hitman," author of Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative
  #14  
Old 05-14-2004, 03:51 PM
pilot141 pilot141 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mostly Texas
Posts: 1,540
Thanks for the responses everyone.

But aside from speculation (some of it quite reasonable), we don't have a definitive answer yet.

I was hoping to find something cool like "Nero hated peeling olives and didn't like misshapen ones, so the Spaniards supplying the olives took the nearest thing at hand - the lowly pimiento - and stuck them in Nero's olives. The tradition stuck, as pimiento-stuffed olives became associated with wealth and luxury."
  #15  
Old 05-13-2004, 01:58 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,525
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilot141
Is this simply an Americanism, or does the rest of the world consider pimiento-stuffed olives the standard processed olive?
Olives stuffed with pimientos (the most popular brands are imported from Spain) are by far the most standard type of stuffed olive here in Panama.

One can get canned green olives stuffed with garlic (my favorite), anchovy, cheese, and other things, but these are of more limited availability.
__________________
"We're lost, but we're making good time." - Lawrence Peter Berra.
  #16  
Old 05-13-2004, 04:23 PM
FordPrefect FordPrefect is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 2,388
Olives + pimiento = why?

It is pretty obvious... while garlic and jalapenos stuff an olive well, there is nothing better than a pimiento to unstuff from the olive with the toothpick, nibble on whilst filling the olive with good gin to commence the slurping.
__________________
Omnipotence. I gotta get me some of that. -- Stewie Griffin
  #17  
Old 06-26-2016, 04:53 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 11,921
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronenfe View Post
I find this whole stuffing thing strange. It's not easy to find just pitted olives without anything stuffed in them.
For one thing they spoil faster than either whole or stuffed olives.
  #18  
Old 06-26-2016, 05:13 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,525
Moved to Cafe Society.

Note that this thread was started in 2004 and is well past it's "Sell by" date.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
  #19  
Old 06-26-2016, 05:55 PM
silenus silenus is offline
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,557
Me, either. Plenty of varied stuffings for green olives; none at all for black olives. I mean, I've stuffed some at home, but AFAIK you don't have any commercial ones. I wonder if it might relate to the fact(?) that black olives are somewhat more fragile than green olives.

AM - the wife prefers habanero-stuffed olives in her martinis.
  #20  
Old 06-26-2016, 07:49 PM
Purd Werfect Purd Werfect is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Amongst the earthlings.
Posts: 2,311
Because the shadowy powers that be that make up Big Capsicum say so.
  #21  
Old 06-26-2016, 09:29 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 15,242
Nothing better than an anchovy-stuffed green olive in a perfectly-made dry martini. The salt-on-salt blast is a fine complement to the last sips of icy gin. Blue cheese stuffing is nearly as good, but not quite. The pimiento, it tastes of nothing. Garlic or habanero would overwhelm the delicious booze.

Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 06-26-2016 at 09:31 PM.
  #22  
Old 06-26-2016, 10:43 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 28,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Nothing better than an anchovy-stuffed green olive in a perfectly-made dry martini. The salt-on-salt blast is a fine complement to the last sips of icy gin. Blue cheese stuffing is nearly as good, but not quite. The pimiento, it tastes of nothing. Garlic or habanero would overwhelm the delicious booze.
If my olive is to be stuffed with anything, it must be something that is made out of food. Anchovies don't qualify.
  #23  
Old 06-27-2016, 11:42 AM
MacLir MacLir is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
If my olive is to be stuffed with anything, it must be something that is made out of food. Anchovies don't qualify.
Actually, this plays to my WAG as to why pimento became the default.

It's the lowest common denominator. All the other stuffings would be objectionable to someone, but pimento is pretty much completely neutral.

I don't particularly care for the blue cheese stuffed ones, and I LIKE blue cheese.
  #24  
Old 06-27-2016, 06:52 AM
panache45 panache45 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 39,366
Now I've got a craving for a pimento cheese sandwich. Had 'em all the time when I was a kid.
  #25  
Old 06-27-2016, 10:08 AM
Hypno-Toad Hypno-Toad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: By the Caloosahatchee
Posts: 11,446
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Now I've got a craving for a pimento cheese sandwich. Had 'em all the time when I was a kid.
Me too. I would especially love a grilled pimento cheese sandwich.
  #26  
Old 06-27-2016, 11:46 AM
MacLir MacLir is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Now I've got a craving for a pimento cheese sandwich. Had 'em all the time when I was a kid.
Out here in the west, good pimento cheese is hard to come by. WallyWorld had some, but then they switched to an inferior brand.

I grew up on it, too.
  #27  
Old 06-27-2016, 07:18 AM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 25,697
Using my historic newspaper databases, I first find "pimiento stuffed olives" appearing in the U.S. in 1897. The article says "They also sell a new and delicious preparation of pitted olives, stuffed with sweet Spanish pimientos which they call Pimolas."

I have no idea if they existed prior to this in Europe and were imported to the U.S. at this time.
  #28  
Old 06-27-2016, 10:49 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 56,013
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilot141 View Post
How did the pimiento become the de-facto standard stuffing for olives?
Well, it used to be the de facto stuffing for watermelon, but pimiento stocks were quickly depleted.
  #29  
Old 06-27-2016, 11:50 AM
swampspruce swampspruce is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cold Lake, Alberta
Posts: 3,713
I'm a big fan of blue cheese or jalapeno stuffed olives in my martinis. Three of them to be precise. When I was a kid, Dad and I would slice up green olives (with pimento) on toast and cover them liberally with old cheddar, then broil until bubbly as a late night snack. Yum!
  #30  
Old 06-27-2016, 02:38 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 15,242
Quote:
Originally Posted by swampspruce View Post
I'm a big fan of blue cheese or jalapeno stuffed olives in my martinis. Three of them to be precise.
Three olives in a martini is preposterous. They take space away from precious, precious gin.
  #31  
Old 06-27-2016, 02:51 PM
quiltguy quiltguy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Three olives in a martini is preposterous. They take space away from precious, precious gin.
Dig up the late actor, Jack Lemmon, and ask him about olives displacing gin in a martini. He wrote a paper in college on this very subject.
  #32  
Old 06-27-2016, 05:07 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 10,547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Three olives in a martini is preposterous. They take space away from precious, precious gin.
See, I read that as three martinis.
  #33  
Old 06-27-2016, 11:33 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 15,242
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
See, I read that as three martinis.
Well, THAT makes a lot more sense.
  #34  
Old 06-28-2016, 08:27 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 10,547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Well, THAT makes a lot more sense.
"One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough," James Thurber

and another favorite:

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.”
Dorothy Parker
  #35  
Old 06-27-2016, 11:52 AM
silenus silenus is offline
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,557
Store-bought pimento cheese?

Get a rope.
  #36  
Old 06-28-2016, 10:32 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anny Middon View Post
I can get green olives stuffed not only with pimentos, but with jalapenos, habaneros, garlic, various cheeses, almonds, and anchovies. I am particularly fond of blue cheese or anchovy ones in my martinis, although the others are nice, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
In the UK too, most olives are sold unstuffed but of those that are stuffed it is mainly green and the fillings used are the same as mentioned in this thread.
Also available in the UK, are green olives stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes (lovely IMO); and we get them stuffed with Greek feta cheese (OK, but not my favourite). I've never encountered blue-cheese-stuffed olives over here: my first instinctive response is not to like the idea much -- but wouldn't unilaterally write blue-cheese-stuffed off without tasting them.
  #37  
Old 06-27-2016, 12:01 PM
silenus silenus is offline
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,557
A basic recipe:

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. finely grated onion
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (8-oz.) block extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in cheese.

Then you modify it to suit your family. Everybody's grandmother had a different recipe. Mine, for example, would dump the onions for a touch of onion powder and add some garlic powder as well. You can play with the cheeses as well, so long as 1) sharp cheddar is the backbone, 2) it is freshly grated. Don't use the shredded cheese in a bag from the grocery - it won't turn out the same. I also add some of the juice from the pimientos to the mix. Ree Drummond adds a little adobo from canned chipotles to hers instead of the cayenne. the variations are endless.
  #38  
Old 06-27-2016, 07:33 PM
Haldurson Haldurson is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 133
I remember that the first food service we had in college used to put pimentos in just about everything. After some investigation, it turned out that canned Pimento's were cheap, and the someone at the food service decided to buy a damned mess o' them, so they had to use them. Thus, we had Mac and Cheese and Pimento, Mashed Potato and Pimento, Corn and Pimento, etc.

Fortunately, the students rebelled and we got that food service kicked out, and replaced with one that a student committee actually could set the menu for month to month based on a fixed budget. The new people were SOO much better and I can't remember ever seeing another pimento in anything again. True story. It probably should have gone down in history as the great Pimento rebellion.

I find Pimentos to be horrible tasting. It's my theory that they are a foul plot to corrupt our precious bodily fluids.

Last edited by Haldurson; 06-27-2016 at 07:35 PM.
  #39  
Old 06-27-2016, 11:36 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 15,242
Pimientos from a jar ARE bland, compared to freshly roasted and peeled peppers. Which should be laid out on aa attractive platter, topped with good anchovies, drizzled with olive oil, and served with fresh Italian bread and chilled dry sherry.

Or martinis.
  #40  
Old 06-28-2016, 03:35 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 36,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Which should be laid out on aa attractive platter, topped with good anchovies, drizzled with olive oil, and served with fresh Italian bread and chilled dry sherry.
Little pickled onions go well too. Although personally I tend to prefer pinchos to porciones... the classic banderilla (the first tapa to get an official name) includes a little pickled onion, chunk of freshly-roasted red pimiento, pitted olive (can't stick the toothpick through if it's not pitted), guindilla (hot green pepper) and baby pickle or piece of pickle.
  #41  
Old 06-28-2016, 10:11 AM
bump bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 15,124
These days, they're not even actual pimentos anymore. They're pimento puree and sodium alginate which has been gelled up and cut into a strip that's then inserted into the olive.
  #42  
Old 06-28-2016, 10:40 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 36,792
Found in the websites of a couple of brands of olives:
pimiento (actual strips), anchovy, pimiento-and-piñon paste, boquerón (same fish as anchovy but pickled in a way that leaves it white), tuna in escabeche (a vinegar-based sauce), blue cheese, serrano, garlic, chorizo, onion, hot chili, sweet'n'sour chili, hot chorizo, manchego, indian curry, indian massala, strawberry, date, mango, cherry, fig, papaya, coconut, apricot, pineapple, blueberry, kiwi, jalapeños, piri-piri (pepper, not sauce), almonds, pickle.

Last edited by Nava; 06-28-2016 at 10:40 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017