Carolyn Blacknall was curious about the machine that bruises olives mentioned in our recent Good Word ratatouille: “I was reading your definition of ratatouille, and I saw ‘bruising olives’. What is ‘bruising olives’ and why is it done? You mentioned the tudicula ‘a machine for bruising olives.’”
Bruising or squeezing olives loosens the flesh from the pits so that the pits are easily removed. The process is called ‘bruising’. This is done before pressing the oil out of the olives to prevent bits of pit from getting in the oil. It is also an ideal way of removing the pit for stuffing.