A Comprehensive List for the Different Types of Olives
The great thing about the different types of olives is that they can be enjoyed as a healthy snack, tossed in a salad, or used for delicious casseroles and other dishes. Most people know about the black and green olive but in truth, there are many different types of olives, each with a distinct flavor.
Before getting into the types of olives, we wanted to provide some information about olives. For one thing, the only difference between green and black olives is that green olives are unripe whereas black olives are ripe. Additionally, prior to being eaten, olives are pickled or cured. For this, a number of different techniques are used to include brine, dry, lye, water, and oil cured.
Black olives are harvested, followed by going directly to be brined but green olives must first be soaked in a solution of lye. To reduce bitterness, olives are allowed to ferment longer in their own brine. In addition, while black olives are sold with and without pits, and usually are never stuffed, green olives are usually sold without pits and can be stuffed with fresh garlic, almonds, capers, pimentos, jalapenos, and more.
To get to the types of olives, keep in mind that olives are given a grade based on size. Olives weighing between 3.2 and 3.3 grams would be considered small but olives between 14.2 and 16.2 grams, fall within medium, large, extra large, jumbo, colossal, and super colossal grades. Most types of olives can also be stored for as long as two years at room temperature if unopened but once opened, they need to be stored in the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for about two to three weeks.
Now to the fun part, the following are some of the more popular types of olives.
- Gaeta – Another of the popular types of olives, this is an Italian black olive cured in dry salt, rubbed with oil, features a mild flavor, has a wrinkled appearance, and is usually packed with various herbs to include rosemary
- Kalamata – One of the more popular types of olives, this is a Greek black olive, fully ripened when harvested, dark purple in color, shaped like an almond, cured in brine, and it has a wonderful fruity flavor
- Liguria – Italian black olive with a bold flavor, cured in salted brine, and usually packed with the stems
- Lucques – Green olive with the pit, has a light, buttery flavor, and makes the ideal snack
- Lugano – Italian black olive that is typically salty and often packed with olive leaves
- Manzanilla – Spanish green olives that are typically sold without pits, often stuffed, and cured in a lye solution followed by packing in lactic acid brine and salt
- Nicoise – French black olive that is small, fully ripened when harvested, has a smooth, nutty flavor, has a large pit, and is often packed with the stems intact and various herbs
- Picholine – French green olive that has a subtle salt flavor, this olive is cured in salted brine, and in the US, may be packed with a preservative
- Ponentine – Italian black olive that is cured in salted brine, packed in vinegar, and features a smooth, mild flavor
- Sevillano – California olive cured in salted brine, crisp, and preserved with lactic acid