So What Exactly is a Pimento Anyway?

If you have ever looked at the choice of olives available in a store, you will have noticed that there are many varieties to choose between. These include green olives, black olives, stuffed olives, and olives flavored with various herbs and spices. One of the most popular choices is green olives with pimento. The pimento is a red stuffing inside the olives and you may possibly have wondered what this is when you have seen at the grocery store.

Pimentos are a small variety of chili pepper that is sweeter than a bell pepper and they are also known as cherry peppers. They have one of the lowest Scoville scale ratings and this means that they have a very mild flavor. You very rarely see pimentos sold on their now as they are usually mixed in with cheeses or added to the center of green olives.

The main reason that these peppers are added as a filling is that green olives have a rather bitter taste when they are first picked form an olive tree. Even when they have been soaked in brine, the flavor is still an acquired taste. This is why it is common to add another flavor to an olive. The most popular option in the United States is pimento.

At first, the pimentos were sliced before being stuffed into the center of the olives by hand. This was the common way of creating this delicacy until the early 1960s. In 1962, a company based in Seville, Spain, called Sadrym were the first ever company to introduce an automatic olive stuffing machine. To this day, Sadrym is still the largest manufacturer of this equipment.

In fact, the majority of the pimento pushing machines are manufactured in Spain and then used in countries across the globe. This may seem a little strange considering that olives with pimento are not a favorite in Spain. The Spanish much prefer their green olives stuffed with anchovies.

Of course, now that the olives are stuffed with the pimento using an automatic stuffing machine, there is no need for people to slice the pimentos prior to stuffing. Instead, the pimento is mashed in the machine to form a thick paste. A gelatin mixture is then usually added to the mashed pimento to give a firm consistency and then the mixture is rolled out into large sheets.

Next, the sheets are cut into small strips that are exactly the right size to fit into the hole in the olive that is left behind when the pit has been removed. These strips are then fed into the stuffing machine, which creates a hole at one end of the olive before pushing out the stone. This is then replaced by pushing in the strips of pimento. To achieve all these functions so precisely, the machines are highly calibrated.

Although this is a highly detailed process that requires a machine with precision, it is actually done very quickly. This complicated process leads to jars and tubs filled with these tasty treats that are then shipped out to countries across the globe. It is important to note that not all makers of stuffed olives use this manufacturing process as some of the high-end brands pride themselves on using traditional hand-stuffing methods.

Although olives stuffed with pimentos are commonly associated with Spain because of the history of the manufacturing process and the source of the produce used, this is not where the concept of stuffing olives first originates. The exact origins are a little unclear but there is evidence to suggest that stuffing olives is a practice that first began in the 1700s in the Provence region of France. A variety of fillings were used to create different variations of the stuffed olive.

Regardless of the source, stuffed olives are now a favorite treat for many people across the globe. You will find them served in dishes on bars for snacking, as part of a tray of delicacies, or even added to the occasional cocktail or Martini. People’s preferences in relation to plain olives versus stuffed olives vary from one individual to the next, but olives stuffed with pimentos continue to be one of the most popular choices in the United States.


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