A Unique Palestinian Tradition: Badoude, Smoked Olive Oil

Badoude is a specialty you won't find in most parts of Palestine. Not only is it not made everywhere, it's not even known to many Palestinians. But in the beautiful village of Betein, you can find a Hajja who has been smoking olives and hand pressing badoude her entire life. She demonstrated for us on the mountain and Mashjar Juthour, and it was truly a special oil to savor. 

We are late in the harvest season and many olives are changing from green to deep purple in color. The Hajja climbed the mountain and searched for plump green olives, harvesting the trees by hand in her beautiful hand stitched thob.

She told us how important it is that the fire is off the dirt, instead having us build it on top of a metal dish. She built up the fire and insisted dried nettish, a native plant, renders the oil the most delicious.

She roasted the fresh olives, swirling them around until blackened. But more importantly, as they cracked over the fire the water dripped out and the oil was left inside. Even after removing them from the fire, the Hajja put them near the smoke and kept them smoking for another half hour at least to deepen the flavor. Nothing tastes better than fresh oil on msakhan chicken!

After leaving them smoking, she put them all in a metal jar and used a flat rocks to pound them, then she squeezed them by hand before finally putting them in a cloth and squeezing the oil out for us to enjoy.

At the end, we were able to drench our freshly baked taboun bread in deep green oil that was bitter and smokey, and simply delicious. It was made even more amazing because it was done under the stars, on a patch of land where the Hajja had harvested olives 40 years before. It was an experience of a lifetime! 

Enjoy our selection of fresh, cold pressed oils!

1 comment

How do we buy this amazing smoked olive oil ?

Elsie November 01, 2022

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