Barefoot Provisions

Organic Pitted Kalamata Olives Snack Pack by Gaea

Olives: not the most travel-friendly snack out there. There's usually a jar and often there's liquid: hoo boy, things could get messy. Until NOW. Open the resealable flap of this portable sack of pitted kalamatas from Gaea and start munching, whether lunch time or mid-afternoon or parked in front of your evening video stream. No matter the occasion, kalamatas fit. Each olive is pitted, tender, and decadent with with a gentle saltiness that brings out their flavor. ~

For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.

Black olives were one of my favorite childhood foods. Why? Dunno. All I remember is waiting patiently on holidays for the condiment/snack trays to be put out on grandma's table, compartmentalized holding areas ready for such "fancy" things as sweet pickles, tiny carrots, green olives, and my love—black olives. While the green pimiento'd specimens received my scorn, the black olives disappeared into my 8 year old gullet faster than breadcrumbs at a duck pond. I even received cans of black olives as gifts from relatives: that's how dorky I was. 

That flavor affinity has only grown with time. This means that as an adult I am free to choose not those 1980s weird canned black olives but rather tender and rich Kalamata olives with their unctuousness and charm. But to get good quality black olives one must visit an olive bar or purchase glass jars full of liquid and heft. UNLESS. Perhaps there is a better way—a portable way to take your olives on the road and to all the places in your life. And what better place to eat them than . . . anywhere!?

Enter Gaea and their olive snack packs. Olive-lovers' single serving sacks of nothing but Greek deliciousness, ready for your afternoon pick-me-up or your lunch salad. I love that the package is resealable, but honestly don't see much need for it: these are perfectly portioned just as is. 

How to eat these Pitted Kalamata Olives

You’ll likely be eating these right out of the bag. And you probably won’t want to share. But it’s also worth noting that no salad is complete without olives, Greek or otherwise. Chop them up and sprinkle them on your greens, your beans, your tureens.  

They tuck easily into your lunch box or purse (before opening the bag!), ready to quell afternoon cravings with healthy fats and glorious saltiness.

Why these olives are so good for you

Olives are technically a fruit! In fact, they are one of the most mineral-rich fruits on earth. Olives are especially high in calcium and magnesium, which help to build strong bones. They also contain vitamins A and E and the beautifying, heart healthy oleic acid. Olives also contain protein and compounds called polyphenols which display anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Plus, olives are known as the most powerful mucus dissolver of any fruit. Too much mucus in your system can cause that cold/flu-like feeling of being clogged and stuffy with puffy eyes and dulled senses. Regular consumption of olives can help to clear out excess mucus and lift the fog.

Here's how Gaea describes their awesome olives:

"GAEA Pitted Kalamata Olives Snack is 100% natural and delicious. It is the 1st olive snack in the world without preservatives or additives and the lowest salt content. The famous Kalamata olives are pitted and packed in protected atmosphere, in an innovative re-sealable packaging, allowing repeated safe openings and closings.

The GAEA Kalamata Olive snack is a source of dietary fiber and copper, rich in vitamin E and contains mono-unsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols. Liquid free and full of authentic Greek flavors, it’s a delicious and a perfectly healthy, low calories snack for anytime of the day!"

About GAEA, in their own words

Gaea seems to be a pretty awesome company. Here's a little bit of what they stand for and how they are helping to grow the Greek economy by keeping almost everything local and sustainable:

Gaea has shows impressive concern for both human beings and the environment. First, the company produced the first carbon neutral olive oil and olives in the world. Owner Aris Kefalogiannis says that it was possible by measuring carbon dioxide emissions during the life cycle of olive oil, all the way from the field to the supermarket shelf. It was found that for every kilogram of conventional olive oil Gaea sold, 4.08 kilograms of carbon dioxide were emitted, and just 1.87 kilograms of carbon dioxide for organic olive oil. (These numbers are about 1/20th that of tomatoes!)

Gaea calculated its carbon footprint because they pay a carbon tax. It's only natural to want to make the business more sustainable AND pay less tax, of course! The most emissions came from not glass bottles or worldwide transport, but rather the pesticides and fertilizers that go into the soil. (That's why conventional produce is such a higher impact than organic.)

Gaea also demonstrates respect for people. The company supports employees who seek an education, even financing secondary education for some employees. Gaea cares for more than just its 52 Greek employees. Gaea was the first olive oil company in Greece to do long-term farming contracts with the same farms and co-ops. They even revenue share with those producers. Kefalogiannis believes in “rewarding farmers for outstanding quality” in order to attain the consistently high quality products Gaea is looking for."

Here are answers to some of your most important questions!

How should these little snack packs be stored?

These packs are perfectly portable, but not indestructible: handle with care so that the bag isn't damaged before you're ready for the good! Once open it can be resealed but I wouldn't say it is air-tight, so keep it stable and cool and consume within a few days.

Can you cook with these olives?

Of course! Eat them out of the bag, or add to your favorite hot and savory recipe at will for an extra punch of richness and flavor.