If I had ever gotten around to publishing that post I drafted about tapenade last month, you would have read something about how the olive oil and garlic mellow the harshness of the cheap olives. Mellow in an “I moved from a sadistic Yankee engineering school to the deep South and now I’m so much more relaxed” kind of way. Weeks later, pulled from the back of the fridge this weekend and smeared on crackers for an unassuming appetizer, this tapenade is a whole new level of mellow. It’s mellow in a “the Dude abides” kind of way. Mellow in a “sitting on a beach in St Barts drinking something with an umbrella in it while listening to reggae” kind of way. Every flavor is there, playing nicely with the others. I can only imagine how revelatory it would be with good olives.