Today I Learned the Red Thing in Green Olives is a Pimento and Not Naturally There
Even after more than four decades on the planet, you can somehow manage to not learn something that most people know. It happened to me and a number of other people today.
I came across a Mental Floss article with the headline "What are Pimentos, And How Do They Get Inside Olives?"
I had heard of pimentos. They are sometimes in cheese and they are red. I didn't know what a raw one looked like, but it was a food and it was red. It then dawned on me that those are the red things in green olives and that they are not naturally in the olives.
My brain melted. How could I have gone this long without knowing that? I just thought it was part of the stem left inside when they were picked and jarred. I had no idea how they got there. I don't even like green olives so why the hell would I bother to learn anything about them?
As it turns out, I'm not the only one. We heard from a bunch of people who were also learning it for the first time today.
"I eat bowls of olives at a time and didn't know that," said one texter.
"I hate olives and had no clue about the red in the middle," another one said.
"I didn't know about the olives either until my husband and I went to Mexico and I went to eat a green olive and bit down on the pit," replied a not quite as recent learner of the pimento secret (that isn't really a secret).
The first pimento-stuffed olives came about during the 17th century. They were stuffed by hand until 1962 when the Sadrym company unveiled a machine that does the pimento stuffing automatically.