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© Denzil Green

Tapenade is an olive paste or spread most associated with Provence, an area in the south of French, though it is popular in other Mediterranean countries such as Spain.

You can use it as a dip for vegetables, mix some into pasta, salad dressings, spread on breads, etc.

It is usually made by puréeing black olives, garlic, olive oil, capers and anchovies. Some purists maintain, however, that it can only contain olives, capers and oil -- so it is easy to make a vegetarian version without the anchovies, and in doing so maintain that you are making the "authoritative" version.

There are now recipes for Tapenade made with green olives instead of black. Unless specified though, Tapenade generally indicates black olives.

A similar paste made in Provence is called "Anchoyade."

Literature & Lore

In Provence, the French people there have their own dialect for many words, and their word for caper is "tapeno", thus Tapenade.

See also:


Agrodolce; Applesauce; Au Jus; Barbeque Sauce; Black Mint Sauce; Chile con Queso; Chimichurri Salsa Recipe; Chippie Sauce; Cranberry Sauce; English Sauces; Fermented Black Beans; Finadene Sauce Recipe; Finadene Sauce (for fish) Recipe; Finadene Sauce; Fish Sauces; French Sauces; Fry Sauce; Gravy; Green Sauce; Harissa; Hoisin Sauce; Instant Flour; Japanese Sauces; Ketjap Manis; Liebig's Extract of Meat; Lizano Sauce; Maggi; Melba Sauce; Mojo Sauces; Mojo (Cuban); Mole; Murri; Parsley Sauce; Pasta Sauce; Pearà; Pesto Modenese; Pipián Paste; Pique Criollo; Pique Seasoning; Pizza Sauce; Raita; Reducing; Salmuera; Sambals; Sauces; Sriracha Sauce; Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce; Tabasco; Tapenade; Tomato Sauce; Truffle Butter; Vatapá; Walnut Sauce; White Sauce; XO Sauce

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Also called:

Olive Paste


Oulton, Randal. "Tapenade." CooksInfo.com. Published 14 September 2003; revised 18 February 2011. Web. Accessed 12/18/2017. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/tapenade>.

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-- Pierette, Brillat-Savarin's great aunt

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