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Gaeta Olives

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What are Gaeta olives?

Tested and approved by Italian grandmothers everywhere, Gaeta olives are the jewels of Neapolitan Italian cuisine. They are the olive that is used most often for Italian cooking, and their versatility and quality is unmatched. Gaeta olives are picked with great care so as not to damage the delicate, ripened fruit. Then, they’re aged in a brining solution of water and salt for a period of at least eight months to achieve their sublime savory and earthy flavor, which is reminiscent of the sea next to a field of wild rosemary. Read More

Ranging in color from light brown to a deep brown, Gaeta olives have a mild brininess and slightly sour flavor. Unlike green olives, which are harvested when the fruit is still young, black varieties like the Gaeta are harvested after the fruit has ripened. Like many Made in Italy products, Gaeta olives are all natural, and the brining process ensures preservation and a long shelf life without the use of artificial preservatives. As an appetizer or main course, Gaeta olives make frequent appearances in the cuisine of central Italy. They are an essential ingredient of the Italian kitchen, and are often seen in large bowls on kitchen tables to be eaten as an irresistible finger food.

What is the history of Gaeta olives?

Since the times of Ancient Rome, olives have been an important agricultural product and food in Italy. Pliny the Elder noted that olives were a favorite food among participants of the Roman Forum circa AD 50. Up through the early 1900s, Gaeta olives were widely grown throughout the Mediterranean region and olive groves blanketed Gaeta, Rome, Tivoli, Lazio, and many other areas of Italy. They were primarily used for olive oil production and for table consumption. Beginning in the 1920s and through the post World War II era, some of the land use in Italy shifted from olive cultivation. Now most Gaeta olives come from Itri, a small city in central Italy in the province of Lazio, rather than from its namesake city of Gaeta. To this day, Gaeta olives remain one of the favorite varieties in Italy, and this popularity has spread around the world as gourmet tastes developed and people began asking for them by name.

How are Gaeta olives different?

For aficionados of Mediterranean food, particularly the Neapolitan cuisine of central Italy, there is no substitute for Gaeta olives, either as an appetizer or as an ingredient in countless recipes. In Neapolitan recipes calling for olives, the Gaeta variety is almost always used. For example, Spaghetti Puttanesca is a crowd-pleasing traditional pasta dish that uses Gaeta olives, tomatoes, anchovies, and capers to make a deliciously fragrant sauce. Rivaling the Greek Kalamata olive in popularity, the smaller Gaeta olive has a more delicate, nuanced flavor.

Where to buy Gaeta olives?

Like so many of your Italian favorites, Gaeta Olives can be found right here at Supermarket Italy. Never before have there been so many opportunities to shop for quality Italian products from the comfort of your own home. You’ll soon be saying “Olive you so much” when you try Gaeta olives from Supermarket Italy!