My New Food Obsession: Olives

As I’ve gotten older, there are certain foods/drinks that I’ve learned to love. I was an extremely picky child, and I wouldn’t come near anything with meat or anything green. I’m a million times better now, and I’ll even try new foods. One food that I avoided like the plague as a kid was the olive. I’m not sure what it was that put me off about it, but I think it had something to do with the pit. Maybe I thought I’d swallow it or something? Keep reading for more!

Anyway, I was one of the only people in my extended family that didn’t eat olives. As a Greek-American, there are three things you need to eat: meat, feta and olives. I had two strikes against me as a kid. I’m not sure when it was that I first tried olives; it might have been in my mom’s amazing pasta salad. Either way, I know love the little guys. Be it, green or black, pitted or stuffed, I’ll eat any type of olive you put in front of me!

I don’t know much about the different varieties of olives though. That’s what Chew on That is for. I can do tons of research on my favorite foods and share what I find with you!

What’s the difference between black and green olives? Green olives are unripe and black olives are fully ripe.

How are olives pickled? There are five different methods: oil-cured, water-cured, brine-cured, dry-cured, and lye-cured.

Gaeta: Small, black Italian olives are either dry-cured or brine-cured. They have a nutty flavor.

Kalamata: Greek black olives that are very popular. They taste salty, but have lots of flavor.

Liguria: Small Italian black olives are brine-cured. It’s after-taste has been described as nutty, almost like an almond.

Lugano: Salty Italian brown/black olives. They are rich and salty.

Manzanilla: Green Spanish olives that are often pitted and stuffed with pimento or garlic.  They are also used in martinis.

Niçoise: A small, purple-black and sour olive that can be found in the popular Niçoise salad. These olives are chewy and packed with flavor.

Picholine: Green, oval olives that are brine-cured.  They are usually marinated with coriander and other herbs. It’s used in cocktails.

Ponentine: Mild Italian black olives that are brine-cured. They are usually packed with vinegar oil and have a nutty flavor.

Sevillano: Large, green, brine-cured Italian olive. They are crisp and salty.

Ways to Use Olives

Olive Spread – A delicious spread that is actually quite good for you.

Olive-Stuffed Bread – Love olives? Try this simple bread recipe that’s bursting with flavor!

Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Calzone – This yummy folded pizza dish is filled with delicious Mediterranean flavors!

Olive and Fennel Salad – This is a fabulous side salad. Serve it with pork tenderloin.

Olive Bites – Easy party appetizer sure to please.

Green Olives Stuffed With Black Truffles – This is a fabulous tapas appetizer for an elegant cocktail party.

Tangy Olive Salsa – Serve this unique salsa with pita bread or tortilla chips.

Three Olive Pate – Forget the expensive stuff, and try this super healthy olive-spread.

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