Weaned on Bread and Olives (Part I)

I grew up eating bread and olives. All sorts of bread (shawat, matlua, tabuna, mtabga) and all kinds of olives (black, green, grey; small size, medium size, big size). I must admit at the time I did not enjoy either one. To persuade me to eat them, my mother would appeal to Allah and the Prophet Muhammed to guide me to the right path so that I would consume as much as I could. And there were days when I did. Still, what I found odd was the taste of olives, especially the black ones. They were sour and sweet at the same time. They were also fat. Even so, when I bit them, they exploded inside my mouth like a freshly-picked orange filling it with a tasty juice in which I drowned the piece of bread that accompanied it.
The fact that we grew and still grow wheat and olives did not make life easy for me. Still, my love for the little black pearls grew with time. In fact, it culminated in the wonderful experience I lived this past year when I harvested them myself and it was fun, a lot of fun. I also took them to the press and watched them being dusted, washed and crushed. There was something magic about being there at the press when the olives were transformed into honey-like olive oil which came out of a stainless tube pure and crisp, its color resembling that of freshly harvested vanilla. When I held the first bottle, it looked like like a fifteen-year Balvanie: so much character, so much individuality, so much pleasure.