How much do you know about olives? There is more than meets the eye. Here at Mezzetta, we travel around the globe to meet with local farmers and find the best olives to deliver you the highest quality olives. Learn more about olives and what makes them unique!
Location, Location, Location
We source our olives from three main countries: Italy, Greece, and Spain. Each region produces their own varietals with unique flavors, size, and color. Sourcing from multiple locations ensures we are able to get the best olives in the countries they grow best. Dive into the different regions we source our olives from below.
Nocellara del Belice “No-cha-lar-uh dell beh-lee-she”, also known as Castelvetrano olives, come from small family farms in Sicily, Italy. They are harvested from September to November. Castelvetrano olives have a mild, buttery taste with a meaty texture. These versatile olives can be used for snacking, salads, pizzas and charcuterie boards. Try them whole or pitted!
One of the more well-known olive types from Greece are Halkidiki "haal-kuh-dee-kee" olives. They come from Northern Greece and are harvested from September through November. If they are stuffed, they will get naturally cured in a salt brine. This olive's size and texture makes the perfect candidate to be stuffed with a variety of different things. Here at Mezzetta we offer Halkidiki olives stuffed with garlic, jalapeño or cheese.
Another popular variety of Greek olives are Kalamata "kaa-luh-maa-tuh". They distinguish themselves from other varieties with their almond shape and dark aubergine color. Kalamatas are harvested on family farms from December to January and are cured in a salt and red wine vinegar brine. These olives have a bright, fruity flavor and meaty texture. They are great for cooking or added to a salad. Try them whole, pitted, or sliced!
From Southern Spain we find the Queen “Gordal” olives. They are naturally cured in a salt brine and have a meaty texture. These unique olives are most commonly found stuffed with bright red Spanish Pimientos. Our martini olives are sourced from Spain and are packed in vermouth-infused brine. What better way to elevate a classic dirty martini?
The other smaller Spanish olive is a Manzanilla. They have a mild, fruity flavor and meaty texture. These olives are most commonly found stuffed with pimientos. These can also be used in cocktails but are also great to snack on or add to a salad. Both these Spanish olive types are a great addition to cocktails or for charcuterie boards.
Should I choose pitted or whole olives?
Pitted olives have the pit removed, where whole olives still have the pit intact. It comes down to these three things: flavor, texture and convenience. Whole olives will have their full flavor and are great for cooking. While pitted olives are convenient for quick snacking or adding to any salad.
What makes olives green?
Green olives are cured with lye, rinsed well, and then naturally fermented in salt brine. Ripe (black) olives start off green, then oxidize to turn black and are then treated with Ferrous Gluconate to turn them back to green.
Is Castelvetrano a style or type of olive?
Castelvetrano is a style of olive that can be used on many different varieties of olives. There is no such thing as a Castelvetrano olive tree. Nocellara olives are from Sicily where the Castelvetrano process originated in the town of Castelvetrano. The Halkidiki-Castelvetrano style is a Greek olive variety that has the same process applied to it with a similar outcome of quality, color and flavor.
Are there any health benefits to olives?
Olives contains Polyphenols which are antioxidants and are high in healthy fats such as monosaturated fats which has been shown to reduce inflammation and heart disease.
Best Ways To Enjoy Olives
Olives are very versatile in many dishes and add boost of flavor. See some ideas below!
- Add them to an antipasto platter and pair with your favorite meats and cheeses.
- Add them to your favorite cocktails. Make a classic dirty martini or try something new like Chef Andrew's Sparkling Aperontini.
- Create pasta dishes like a Pasta Puttanesca or Linguine with Castelvetrano Olive Pesto
- Add olives to green or pasta salad for a kick of flavor
- Create delicious sandwiches with sliced Kalamata olives.