Among the hundreds of different ‘cultivars’ or varieties of olives, green olives have a flavor unlike any other. As opposed to other olive varieties such as black olives or purple, green olives are harvested at the beginning of the season when the fruit is still unripe, which gives it a characteristically nutty flavor and extra firm texture. Once the olive fruit is picked from the olive trees, and after being harvested by hand, green olives are cured in a brine of salt and water. The curing process aids the fermentation process caused by lactic acid. The result is a tender, juicy, and pungent-flavored olive that lends depth and complexity to a range of savory dishes.
How are Italian Green Olives Used?
The preferred choice for chefs and gourmands are Castelvetrano olives, which are known for their tender, meaty flesh and sweet, mild flavor. The mellow and buttery taste makes them a favorite choice for a table snack or as part of an antipasti platter. Another type of green olive is the Cerignola, the largest variety in the world. Their hefty size makes them the ideal stuffed olive with delectable fillings like garlic, cheese, and capers. Some of our favorite olive brands include Partanna and Sanniti, both of which offer full line-ups of preserved Italian castelvetrano olives. The health benefits of a Mediterranean diet have been touted by many experts.
What can I make with green olives?
Castelvetrano olives are Italy’s favorite table olive and are traditionally paired with goat cheese and crisp white wine. For a Sicilian twist in your cooking, they also add intense pops of flavor to hearty pasta dishes and sauces. The fresh-tasting Cerignola olive and its luscious mouthfeel make it a favorite ingredient for a long list of dishes, from salads with olive oil and charcuterie boards to stuffed olives and meat sauce.