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Most Common Types of Olives

Author Zizzur Staff. Published on July 16, 2011 - 3:04 am (965 views — 374 words)

Olives are a great appetizer that can perk up any party. It's a versatile food item that can beat by itself or cooked, mixed or tossed with any dish for added flavor. What most people know is that there are two types of olives: green and black; they are unaware of the fact that olives can still be classified into many varieties.

For one to fully appreciate the different types of olives, one must first know a few basic facts about this delectable fruit. One must be able to spot the difference between black and green olives. Green olives are harvested unripe which is the reason for its color, black olives on the other hand are fully ripe when harvested. These two types of olives first have to go through a curing process before it can be appreciated for consumption. There are also different ways of curing olives such as brine cured, dry-cured or lye-cured, to name a few. This is an important stage since it such processes removes the bitter taste. This is an ancient practice that started at the beginning of civilization.

Olives can be sold as whole, pitted or stuffed. Green olives are usually prepared as whole or stuffed; usually it's the black olive that is sold as pitted. Because of the black olives ripeness, it usually is too soft for stuffing. Green olives have a much tougher texture because it is unripe, which makes it ideal for stuffing other items such as cheese, garlic, anchovies.

Types of olives are more often than not categorized from the country it came from. The Kalamata is a well-known olive that comes from Greece. This variety is often black because it has the most flavors when it is harvested fully ripe. This variety is often used in pizzas and dips that can really enhance the flavor.

Gaeta is a popular Italian olive that is cured in salt, giving this olive its distinct wrinkled look. This olive is usually marinated to add more flavors.

Manzanilla is a Spanish green olive that is often stuffed with pimiento, cheese or anchovies.

There are a lot more types of olives from countries around the world. But regardless of their origin, olives always bring certain sophistication to any dish.