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?

In pimento cheese sandwiches all over the South. Yummy.

It’s pretty standard in the UK, too. Yummm. :slight_smile:

The word pimiento is spanish for pepper, therefore the combination obviously originated in spain. 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. :smack:

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

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.

**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. :cool:

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?

“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.

Newsgroups: rec.food.recipes *

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

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.

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?

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.

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.”

Trajan…not Nero, Trajan.

Okay… dare I ask what the hell, exactly, is a pimento? Yeah, I know – it’s the red thing stuff in an olive. I think it comes in certain jars of Cheeze-Whiz. I know that it’s closely related to the Spanish word pimiento, which means pepper and not necessarily chile (which is chile or sometimes we gringos spell it chili even though to me the latter is a stew).

Is a pimento a specific type of pepper that’s merely called “pimento”? Or can it be any pepper? Or what?

**pimiento; pimento ** A large, red, heart-shaped sweet pepper that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. The flesh of the pimiento (the Spanish word for “pepper”) is sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper… Pimenta dioica

It is a separate species, and quite yummy. :smiley:

So are both variations on the spelling correct?



I’ve always pronounced it like the first spelling: three syllables: Pim-en-toe

But according to the second spelling (which is the way it’s spelled on my high-dollar Safeway Select :dubious: jar of olives) it would be: Pim-eee-en-toe.

Different spellings for the same thing?

And once again, how in the world did they start getting stuffed in olives?

Pimento-stuffed olives are the only kind one can buy here in India (and yeah, most of the time, the label says spanish olives). Which is great, because I love 'em and can go through a jar in one sitting.

Until my brother brought some garlic-stuffed olives back from Europe. One word - heavenly! Pimento stuffing just doesn’t match up to garlic stuffing…