Greece is famous for a spectrum of fine olives, which are prepared with minimal processing. Most of these varieties are ancient and one can discover trees that are more than 2,000 years old. Some of these ancient olive trees can be found on the island of Crete. The most famous and possibly the oldest one is the olive tree of Vouves (Crete), estimated at over 3,000 years old. It still produces olives which are highly prized.
GREEK OLIVE TYPES
There are literally thousands of kinds of Greek Olives, usually named after the areas in which they are grown. Examples include Kalamon and Halkidiki. Most of these varieties are either exclusively oil or table olives. However, there are a few varieties that can be processed both as table olives and pressed for oil.
Whether brined, marinated, turned into olive oil, or included in a dish, Greek cuisine would not be the same without this Superfoods. Ranging from the bitter to the smooth and differing in color from deep purple to vibrant yellows and greens, Greece has been blessed with these gifts of Nature.
Green olives: Harvested at the earliest stages of maturity
“Pink” olives: Harvested prior to reaching full maturity
Black olives: Harvested at full maturity
As might be seen, the main difference between these table olive types is ripeness. Unripe olives are green, whereas fully ripe olives are black. “Pink” olives are harvested (a bit) prior to reaching full maturity. Olives are cured or pickled before consumption, using various methods including oil-cured, water-cured, brine-cured, etc.
Greek Olive Types – THE MOST POPULAR GREEK TABLE OLIVES
1. KALAMATA BLACK OLIVES
KALAMATA BLACK OLIVES are probably the most well-known Greek olives. These Black olives are harvested when fully ripened. The best Kalamata olives are cured in a red-wine vinegar brine. These olives are served well as a tapenade spread or as an ingredient in a Greek salad. Read more…
2. WRINKLED BLACK OLIVES
WRINKLED BLACK OLIVES in Greece mostly come from the island of Thassos. These olives are fully mature olives that are not picked. Instead, nets are placed under the trees and the olives are caught in the nets when fully ripe. Wrinkling is their natural state. They are meaty with a strong olive taste. Favorite ways to serve them are with Greek potato salad, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano.
3. SMALL CRETAN GREEN OLIVES
SMALL CRETAN GREEN OLIVES are also called elitses, which means – tiny olives in the Greek language. The formal name is koroneiki. These Cretan olives are also cultivated in Messinia, on the Peloponnese peninsula, and Zakynthos Island. When green, small quantities are harvested as table olives. When black and ripe (in December /or January) they are almost exclusively harvested for the production of olive oil. Most of these table olives are consumed in Greece, never reaching western markets.
4. HALKIDIKI (CHALKIDIKI) GREEN OLIVES
HALKIDIKI (CHALKIDIKI) GREEN OLIVES are large, pale green Greek olives. Their large size enables easy stuffing. Common stuffings include dried tomatoes, almonds, and blue cheese. They are usually processed through brine curing which gives the olives a firmer meat texture. The olive has a soft flavor with a little tartness and a note of pepper. These Olives grows exclusively in Greece in the Halkidiki region.
5. NAFPLION GREEN OLIVES
NAFPLION GREEN OLIVES grow in the valley of Argos, in the Peloponnese peninsula. They are small, light green olives, cracked before being cured in brine. These olives have a consistent, crunchy texture. Nafplion olives are harvested at the beginning of the season -in October. These are best served as a table olive, sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice, and a sprig of fresh dill. Nafplion olives are rarely known outside of Greece.
6. KALAMATA RED OLIVES
KALAMATA RED OLIVES: Kalamata olives are normally picked when they are fully ripened in December. These olives can also be picked earlier – in November. When they are picked early and not fully ripened they are known as “pink” /or red olives for their lighter appearance.
MY FAVORITE GREEK OLIVES
My No1 Greek Black Olives (on and off-line) are Kalamata’s. Read more…
When it comes to Greek Green Olives online, Organic Pitted Green Olives by Divina (10,2 ounce) could be a good choice. But, if you happen to stay in Greece for a holiday, business, or any other reason, I’d encourage you to try different Green olives either home-made or collected and processed by local brands. Read more about Green Olive Health Benefits…
Organic Pitted Green Olives by Divina (10,2 ounce) – Choose your N01 Green Olive
Organic Pitted Green Olives by Divina – reasons to order these Amazing Green olives online:
– High-quality Superfoods, awesome flavor
– Organic food (No pesticides, coloring or additives)
– Healthy snack: Great snack especially for those on the Low Carb, Keto or Med Diet (read more…)
– Great in a salad, meal, pasta, pizza, etc.
– In drinks, too: martinis & various cocktails
Packing – not convenient for work or travel
Organic Pitted Green Olives by Divina (10,2 ounce) is a high-quality Superfoods, with awesome flavor. It is a great snack for your Healthy Diet!