A tapenade is a relish of puréed or finely chopped olives, capers, and anchovies. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. It is a popular food in the south of France, where it is generally eaten as an hors d'œuvre spread on bread.
One of the earliest known tapenade recipes, Olivarum conditurae, appears in Columella's De re Rustica written in the first century AD. And in writings by Cato the Elder (234–149 B.C.) Chef Lippe presents his humble version as learned during his travels in Provence.