All about olives

All about olives

Olives hail from the sun soaked shores of the Mediterranean, where they're a staple on many a table. They're also a foodie favourite, thanks to their incredible versatility. Read on to learn more about these culinary gems!

So many varieties...

Big, small, round, oval-olives come in all shapes and sizes and dozens of varieties. Contrary to what you might think, it is their ripeness and not their type that determines their colour: as the fruits ripen on the olive tree, they gradually turn from green to purple, then to black. Here are a few of the most common varieties you'll see at the grocery store.

  • Manzanilla

    Manzanilla olives are originally from Spain, medium to large in size and by far the most popular on the planet! They're what you think of when you think of "olive green." They're also easy to pit, so if you see a stuffed olive, chances are it's a manzanilla.

  • Cerignola

    Hailing from Italy, Cerignola olives have a fruity and buttery taste. Meaty and plump, they're one of the largest olive varieties in the world.

  • Kalamata

    Beloved for their mild flavour and firm texture, Kalamata olives have a characteristic almond shape and purple hue.

  • Niçoise

    Deep violet verging on black, Niçoise olives are small olives that are brined for several months after being harvested. They are slightly sweet, smoky and salty.

  • Moroccan

    Moroccan olives come from the picholine variety and are harvested before they reach their maturity. They are then pressed and marinated in a mixture of Moroccan spices.

  • Lebanese

    Lebanese olives can be green or black. They are generally smaller and sometimes have a slightly wrinkled skin. They are preserved in salt water, as it is traditionally done in Lebanon. many ways to enjoy them!

There are almost as many ways to prepare olives as there are varieties! Here are a few common ways to serve them:

  • Raw.

    When freshly picked, olives have an extremely bitter taste that isn't very pleasant to the palate. This can be balanced out by brining them for about a week in saltwater that's changed daily.

  • Marinated.

    Because of their rich and flavorful taste, olives are often used in marinades with garlic, hot peppers, mushrooms and herbs. Marinated olives are delicious as an aperitif with a nice glass of white wine!

  • Stuffed.

    Stuffed olives are always popular as a snack, in salads or at cocktail parties. Popular stuffings include hot peppers, lemon zest and almonds.

Good things come in small packages

Olives are rich in iron, copper and vitamin E and offer many health benefits. For example, antioxidants found in olives can help protect the cardiovascular system and prevent certain cancers. It is best to eat olives in moderation, though: 100 grams of black olives have 295 calories and 100 grams of green olives weigh in at 120 calories.

Raw, cooked, pitted or unpitted, marinated or stuffed-olives come in all different forms. Make a pit stop at our olive bar and discover more than 40 different varieties and nearly as many ways to enjoy them!