Talk:Olive

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Former good article nominee Olive was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
June 22, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
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Methods of Curing[edit]

A major part of olive production is the curing process. Without curing, the fruit of the olive would be poisonous. There are two methods of curing, oil and brine curing. Why is there nothing about this in this Long article? --Quodfui 14:20, 21 April 2007 (UTC) 14:19, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

The article (now at least) states that olives aren't poisonous. Rob Russell (talk) 02:49, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

Greek doesn't come from Mycenaean Greek. Mycenaean is an early dialect of Greek but it wasn't the parent of other dialects. I would be interested to know whether this is a Proto-Indo-European word or whether it's one of these words that floated around the Mediterranean, like sesame. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 158.169.9.14 (talk) 02:41, 20 June 2013 (UTC)


Are Salt Cured olives sometimes sold as "oil cured"? They are wrinkly in appearance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.67.47.139 (talk) 18:45, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

After 1920?[edit]

Was *anything* in this entry written after 1920, other than my one sentence about the Athenian pottery industry? Vicki Rosenzweig

  • looks to me like an (uncited) EB 1911 text. It could use a little, er, pruning as well...-- Viajero 10:51 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Disambig?[edit]

I want to add another page to the listing of alternatives at the top, Olive, a dance music band from the 1990's. Three would be a bit much, so presumably a disambig page is called for. Where should it be placed? Move this one, or just link to it at the top? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kiand (talkcontribs)

Olive the band? Pretty obscure, even for Wikipedia. Their banal name is probably a major reason for their obscurity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ghosts&empties (talkcontribs)
FYI, there's already an article on the band, Olive (band) and it's also listed in the disambig page. Btw, you've just responded to a year old message. :P --Andylkl (talk) 19:38, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Modern cuisine[edit]

This could use some things on olives in modernday cuisine as well. --Kasperl 17:34, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Long life[edit]

Considering that olives are famous by their longevity, maybe you could add something about the oldest olive in the world. It's about 2500 years old, it's near city of Bar, Serbia and Montenegro (there is a picture). The second oldest olive in the world is on a Christ's grave in Israel. Milant 23:21, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Urgh![edit]

What an appalling piece! This must win a prize for 'most inappropriate and wantonly verbose' prose on Wikipedia...

At what remote period of human progress the wild olive passed under the care of the husbandman and became the fruitful garden olive it is impossible to conjecture.

Terrible English.

That's 1911 for 'ya.--Joel 23:36, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I tried a re-write on the enjoyably archaic "History of the Olive" section but it is entirely speculative and already covered by the preceeding paras (e.g. geographical origins already indentified in the first para). So I expanded the intial section slightly and removed the "remote period of human progress.." etc. Presuably since 1911 somone has answered a lot of the speculation about origins of olives and history of cultivation. Still needs something about C20 production. frankh 22:59, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It seems to be grammatically sound for the most part. Abdullah H. Mirza (talk) 20:52, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

NPOV dispute[edit]

I'm confused. Given that the article is outdated and terribly written, I can't see from the discussion above that there's a POV dispute; doesn't it just need a copyedit? Djnjwd 21:54, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I sat and rewrote this article to improve the lousy English, and someone undid all the changes. I am new to Wikipedia and maybe I don't understand what's going on. I feel like I'm wasting my time. --Gilabrand 12:58, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Clarification request[edit]

Information or clarification request

In the sentence

"Occasionally the larger boughs are marched, and young trees thus soon obtained."

What does the term 'marched' mean? Does this imply that the ends of the boughs are tied down into the ground causing them to root and thus "marching" the tree along?

Iscreamkid

Kalamata[edit]

A discussion of the kinds of Olives, and Kalamatian olives aren't even mentioned? :) Nahaj 01:05, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Dwarf cultivars[edit]

I've just removed the reference to dwarf cultivars, because there aren't any. "Olive dwarf cultivars" is just a nursery scheme to sell more plants. The trees go in to production early because of the stress of being planted so close together (2 - 3 m), and not for the fact that their dwarf.João Correia 01:12, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Height Verification[edit]

"The Wild Olive is a small, straggly tree or shrub to 8-15 m tall with thorny branches." - Is that supposed to be feet or is the 8-15 m a typo because 15 m is by no means a small tree?

The error is the “small tree” part. Actually the olive tree can grow up to 30 m, if grown in the appropriate conditions without major pruning, so 15 m is actually a conservative statement. João Correia 00:17, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

So then the mention of it being a shrub perhaps should be taken out as a shrub is usually under 6m, and multiple stems at a low height. Onishenko 05:30, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Economy[edit]

It would be worth adding an economy section with a world production table (see french or german articles for example).--PeaceAnywhere 19:59, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. ViridaeTalk 00:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


Okay, I'm not sure how this works, but I deleted the olive production chart because something is clearly inaccurate. The table says both Spain and Italy are the top producers (both have green dots), but the article says Spain produces twice as much olives as Italy. Which is correct? I deleted the chart to draw attention to this. I don't know which is correct, but they both cannot be right. Please correct this.

Suspicious cultivars[edit]

I looked up the various cultivars and 'Vacaca' and 'Fecundiat' do not seem be serious entries that I can reference anywhere. Vacaca was added on 3 August 2006 and Fecundiat was added 24 September 2006 Salanth 23:16, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Removed them - MPF 22:07, 7 November 2006 (UTC)


Conflict of Interest External Link[edit]

I didn't review the conflict of interest rules before I posted a link to a series of photographs that comprehensively document the journey of an olive through an olive mill from beginning to end on the "external link" portion. Please consider it. I'm the olive oil expert at Zingerman's Deli and photographed my time at an olive harvest in Paso Robles, CA. http://drygoodsnotes.blogspot.com Solomonj 06:31, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

As with Wheat, you should not have entire uncited sections. Thanks for trying to get a core topic to GA class, by the way.--Rmky87 14:08, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

"Its mystical glow illuminated history."[edit]

I removed this sentence from the section on Olive oil history. To be honest, I think that whole paragraph needs looking at. Is it a copyvio from somewhere? Skittle 19:25, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Invasive Weed[edit]

Could there be a reference to the noxious weed/tree Russian Olive, or is that tree not even related to this article? They're in a different genus, anyway. --Dulcimerist 17:02, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The Russian Olive is barely even related to the true olive, no point in mention.Wwm101 (talk) 19:07, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Nutritional Information for Olives[edit]

Would it be useful to include the nutritional information for olives? They are a good source of antioxidants, which might be noteworthy. Nutrition Facts for Olives --Dulcimerist 17:02, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I second this request. 85.76.51.247 (talk) 07:41, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Pesticide use[edit]

The relative prevalence of pesticide (and other chemical) use in various growing regions should be noted, as should be tests detecting residues of such chemicals. Badagnani 21:27, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

edible olives[edit]

Quite a few Olive trees remained on University of California at Santa Barbara campus. We'd eat the slightly shriveled fruit that fell off the trees and they weren't bitter. Most of the "ripe" black olives still on the tree weren't edible, and those that tried eating the green ones got diarrhea. The truly ripe fruit didn't store well, but I have purchased "sun dried olives packed in olive oil" at specialty stores and they seem similar to what we ate. (I assume that commercially olives like tomatoes and avocados are harvested green because they travel better.)

Salt reacts with to create acidity, eg sterile pickling of cucumbers in brine. Adding vinegar is marinating.

Wine is generally fermented without air to allow creation of alcohol. Air allows the yeast to convert sugars to carbon dioxide, hence non-alcoholic wine.

this is wrong. Bottle-fermentation is the result of a sugar -> carbon dioxide conversion occuring in sealed bottles without access to air. It is also off-topic. 69.203.83.158 (talk) 16:21, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

unripe=green, ripe=black?[edit]

There are hints of this throughout the article, and throughout this discussion page. Can someone please authoritatively settle this? I understand the idea that if this *is* true, there still may be species selected for picking while green, and other species chosen for best black olives... Chrishibbard7 17:16, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Production Chart[edit]

Shouldn't the production chart be corrected? It says both Spain and Italy are the top producers (both have green dots), but the article says Spain produces almost twice as much as Italy. Shouldn't Italy have five yellow dots? Or does the article need to be corrected? I don't know, but one of the two needs to be corrected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 151.200.59.238 (talk) 05:02, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Also, what do they mean by production, harvesting or exploiting ? For instance Tunisia's Oil is sold by Italy (they mix their Oil with Tunisia's and bottle it as Italian). Is that why Tunisia ranks 6th when it actually has the 2nd biggest area ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.226.83.184 (talk) 20:13, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Shjacks45 (talk) 12:26, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is consensus to do such a thing. However, it is up to the articles' regular editors to do so, not the closing administrator. NW (Talk) 17:53, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I propose that Olive (fruit) be merged into this article. It is a poor article, with few citations, and could fit better as a subsection of this one. -- 69.203.83.158 (talk) 16:22, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm seconding that motion. There aren't separate pages for the apple tree and fruit, the orange tree and fruit, etc. Plus a lot of info on this page is already discussing the fruit.
  • I third? that. Olive (fruit) seems mostly about the cultural history of Olives which could become one or two sections here. I've added the mergeto/from templates. Rod57 (talk) 14:56, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
  • It's absolutely ridiculous that these have not been merged yet. Look at the outline, the overlap is extemely high. Who has rights to merge these? Any dissenters (agaist merging)? Chrishibbard7 (talk) 17:18, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm not a very experienced Wiki-er or a member of any WikiProjects, but I still think it sounds like a good idea. The Olive (fruit) article is blah at best, and merging would just plain make sense. Surprising the merge hasn't already taken place! StoryMakerEchidna (talk) 01:55, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
  • It seems there is no opposition to this merger, so I'd say it'd probably be a good thing. Any wikiers out there with the time on their hands to merge them? –eruditionFISH 21:09, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I think this is pretty obvious to merge and its kinda crazy that there was a box saying it has been proposed that Olive(fruit) be merged with Olive.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.232.226.30 (talk) 04:28, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Merge - Olive (fruit) into Olive for above reasons. A request to close and carry out the merge was posted at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 22:31, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


merge note[edit]

merge note - Hi as per the discussion above - and the request at WP:AN here - I have redirected olive (fruit) here - here is the version previous to my redirect edit - looking at it, it seems weakly cited and a lot of duplicated so I won't bother actually merging anything in at this time - if interested editors feel , a picture or a comment is worthwhile here then please merge that specific content over, thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 17:56, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Clarification regarding Ancient Olive Trees in Israel[edit]

In response to a question:

The information that I added to “Olive” is based on a scientific paper published in 2007: Identifying the Names of Fruits in Ancient Rabbinic Literature, M. Kislew, Y. Tabak & O. Simhoni , Leshonenu (Hebrew), vol. 69, p.279.

The best known of the paper’s authors is Prof. M. Kislew (or Kislev) of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, an internationally recognized expert in the fields of botany and archeology who has published many papers in leading scientific journals.

Not infrequently the names of various varieties of fruits, vegetables and other produce mentioned in ancient Rabbinic literature (1600-2200 years ago) are no longer current or recognized. In order to ascertain precisely which species/variety is referred to, scientific methods are sometimes required. In order to establish whether the olives of antiquity in the Holy Land correspond to those varieties cultivated today, or whether today’s varieties were unknown in earlier periods, two methods were employed.

The first is based on thousands of olive pits that have been uncovered in archeological digs. The pits of different types of olives vary greatly in size, shape, surface detail etc. and are quite distinctive under magnification. At Massada, the site of a Jewish stronghold during the Great Revolt (68-70 CE) against Roman occupation, 2600 olive pits were recovered. Due to the extremely dry conditions the pits are perfectly preserved. 2019 were found to belong to the variety known today as Nabbali; 60 to the variety known today as Surri; 37 to the Shami variety; 21 to the Tuphahi variety and 13 to the small Malissi variety. These findings, together with those from similar sites, prove two things: that the five varieties extant in Israel today existed in Roman times as well, and that the two most common varieties today were also the most common in Roman times.

The second approach was a survey of ancient olive trees in Israel. This survey, conducted by Prof. Shimon Lavi among others, confirmed that there are tens of ancient olive trees in Israel today: the majority are of the Surri variety and the remainder belong to the Nabbali variety. Most of these trees were determined by dendrochronology (tree ring analysis) to be 1600-2000 years old; some were judged to be approximately 3000 years old. There are seven trees in the Galilee region – two giant olive trees in the town of Arabeh and five in Dir Hannah – that have been determined to be over 3000 years old and are mostly of the Surri variety. All the trees surveyed sprout new branches annually and continue to produce olives.

I hope this has clarified matters. Dhybhr (talk) 11:37, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Origin[edit]

The opening paragraph gives a certain geographical region as the home of the olive tree. The paragraph entitled "Description" gives another. Which one is correct? Caeruleancentaur (talk) 06:58, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Fermentation?[edit]

Can anyone cite an authoritative source for fermentation being the process whereby olives are cured. I have cured kilos of olives and the process seems very clearly that the water, or brine, permeates the fruit by diffusion and dilutes and removes the bitterness. If some sort of fermentation is used what is the active organism? From all my years in Spain I have never heard anyone refer to fermentation. The whole section on curing of the fruit is unclear, misleading and repetitious. I would happily volunteer to clean it up and reorder it if that would help. Richard Avery (talk) 11:16, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Googling "Olive fermentation" throws up plenty of hits, such as a paper on Biotechnology of olive fermentation. William Avery (talk) 11:41, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, an interesting paper which clearly describes some limited work on Portuguese olives which as noted are largely for domestic consumption. Here [1] is a much more interesting paper which explains clearly the fermentation process. Every day something new to learn - just as it should be! Richard Avery (talk) 19:35, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Tree density[edit]

It might be useful to mention the recent development of super-high-density plantings as documented in

--Ronz (talk) 17:13, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Manzanillo or Manzanilla[edit]

In Spain these olives are known as manzanillas. Olive is a feminine noun taking the article "la" and modifiers would also have to be feminine. The following articles in the Spanish wiki use "manzanilla":

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dos_Hermanas#Sector_primario
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dos_Hermanas#Sector_primario

Accordingly, I have added "Manzanilla" as an alternate name for "Manzanillo" in the main article. Ileanadu (talk) 22:14, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation of the vowel of the second syllable: How many variations are used?[edit]

I had been ensuring that I had the correct English language pronunciation for aleph today and realized that without proper caution, the IPA pronunciations for aleph and olive might be written too similarly. The proper IPA pronunciation for aleph is /'ɑːlɛf/ from what I have heard from various audio files. However, for olive, the situation is more difficult, with some dictionaries providing two different non-IPA pronunciations, audio files not being completely distinct to my ear with the second vowel sound, and country or region could also be a factor in pronunciation. I currently listed all three possible pronunciations in the article: /'ɑːlɪv/, /'ɑːlɨv/, or /'ɑːləv/. It seems highly likely that the first pronunciation listed is correct, at least in American English, but the others might be correct as well. I would like to hear other thoughts and try to reach a consensus as to whether one, two, or all three are correct pronunciations. Adavis444 (talk) 20:56, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Just checked the OED. They give /ɪ/ as UK and /ə/ as US. We should reduce it to those two unless someone has a source. (I can confirm that Australians follow the first pronunciation, so I won't label it as UK only.)
More importantly, the first vowel is completely wrong outside North America. I'll fix it. Nick (talk) 22:00, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

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Northernmost growing of olive trees (Anglesey)[edit]

I made the change in the page: I just added that I found no news about those olive trees, and that it is too early (just 5 years) to say whether the growing will be successful or not. I would add that weather, in the last years, was apparently colder in UK, above all by winter; but I think that Anglesey did not experience temperatures low enough to kill the trees, neither in 2010 or 2011, being an island in a "mild" sea. Filippo83 (talk) 10:00, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

2 observations[edit]

I realize there's a separate article on olive oil, but I think this basic olive entry ought to at least mention that olive oil is a major product of olive cultivation.

The "Nutritional information" section tells an ordinary reader nothing about nutritional value. It's just a list of chemical properties.

Sca (talk) 12:39, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Splitting out cultivars[edit]

Hey all, I am thinking of splitting out the cultivar list in to a proper List of olive cultivars. Many major plants and animals have lists, if you look at Category:Food plant cultivars. Plus, it will be a good way to keep the article to summary style. There are hundreds of olive varieties, so this list has a lot of room to grow. Steven Walling • talk 06:24, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Okay, this is Yes check.svg Done now. As you can see at List of olive cultivars I declined to just restore the old version of the article, which was merely a list of links. Instead, I forked the current page's section, which had more substantive content. I hope to expand the list and create more olive cultivar stubs soon, probably over the weekend. Steven Walling • talk 04:10, 11 October 2013 (UTC)