Salonenque Olives


Flavored with crushed branches of fennel, these avocado-green olives are harvested very early and only available for an extremely short time. I’ve been anticipating them ever since Jacques, my favorite olive merchant, started getting excited when he told me about their arrival a few weeks back. So I knew they’d be special.

(If someone who’s been selling olives for twenty-plus years is still excited about a specific olive, believe me, I pay attention.)

Les olives Salonenques are very fresh with a firm, meaty texture and a whiff of aromatic fennel. But these Provencal olives don’t last long, which is why you won’t likely find them outside of France. Jacques will ladle some into a sack, weight them, then add extra liquid to guard against them discoloring, which they do quickly because of their freshness.

You’ll need to eat them relatively soon after you buy them. So get ’em while you can.

And since I can get ’em, believe me, I’m eating as many as I can before they’re gone.

Le Soleil Provencal
Richard Lenoir/Bastille Market
Thursday and Sunday
Jacques’ stand is at the center, on the east side, near Le Préau café

(He’s often at the Maubert-Mutualité market in Paris as well.)

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  • September 23, 2007 11:44am

    Oh I miss French olives–those crunchy little green nubbins of happiness! And a whiff of fennel to boot? I think I would like those ones. Sigh.

  • Terry
    September 23, 2007 1:05pm

    Can you buy Green Gage Plums canned/marmalade in the states? Are they canned in France?

    Thanks, Terry

  • September 23, 2007 2:25pm

    David, is this sort of olive salty like a traditional briny green olive? Oh, how I love a salty, buttery-textured olive!

    You’re so lucky to have access to such great food. I’ll be forever jealous!

  • September 24, 2007 8:54am

    Terry: I know Bonne Mamam makes a jam, as well as others. But I don’t know what’s available in the states.

    Try Googling it. Greengage plums are called ‘Reine Claudes‘ here in France, to help with the search. Good luck!

  • September 24, 2007 10:13pm

    oooh yummy. you know one time in morocco this olive merchant offered to buy me from my mother for a fair amount of olives. i think she actually considered it.

  • Terry
    September 25, 2007 7:18am

    Thanks so much for the suggestion on the Green Gage Plums….googling brought me to your website which I’m totally enjoying. Terry

  • September 25, 2007 11:23am

    You just can’t beat a good green Kalamata olive in my humble opinion. I loathed olives my whole life until quite recently, but these days I adore them. I thought I’d already developed all of my acquired tastes during childhood, but obviously not.

  • September 25, 2007 12:33pm

    Wow, I need to learn a great deal in the way of olives. From my understanding, there were only green, black, or kalamata olives! Thanks for the enlightenment, those look fantastic. Mmm…

  • September 25, 2007 7:51pm

    Is this fresh from the tin…? ;-)

    It looks (and reads) delicious.

    Hillary – olives are first green and then usually become black as they mature.

    The reason the above olives need to be eaten relatively fast is because they are not “black” i.e. mature, which also means they contain less fat (the fat preserves them).

  • October 7, 2007 6:49am

    Something was bothering me for the last two weeks and I was not sure what it was – until now.
    My previous comment is actually not accurate and to a large extent (to be understood as completely) missed the point.

    The reason some olives need to be consumed faster then others is MAINLY due to their curing process. Different ways of curing olives result in different length of “shelf life”. Sorry :-)