The ABC’s of Different Table Olive Styles

Table Olives

Ever wanted to learn more about the different styles of table olives that are readily available at almost every store? With so many options to choose from, olive novices may have a hard time deciding on the perfect table olive to best complement a certain recipe. Turn every meal into a memorable occasion and join us as we delve into different styles of table olives.

Spanish-Style Green Olives

Spanish-style green olives are vibrant and naturally green in colour but can sometimes have a slightly brownish hue. These olives are firm in texture, but not hard and have a pleasant salty taste while retaining the flavour of the fruit. The most popular cultivars used to make Spanish-style green olives in South Africa are Mission, Manzanilla & Nocellara.

Following harvesting, these green olives undergo two basic processes before they can be consumed. First, they undergo a lye treatment to break down oleuropein, the bitter compound in olives. This treatment also makes the outer layer of the fruit more permeable to allow for the diffusion of sugars. The lye treatment lasts up to 24 hours and includes several rinsing steps to remove the lye before the olives undergo the final processing phase of natural fermentation.

Spanish-style green olives can be enjoyed as a snack during a rugby game – it’s much healthier and tastier than potato chips and it pairs wonderfully with lean biltong such as Springbok or Kudu. It can also be added to a toasted baguette that’s been lightly smeared with cream cheese and topped with smoked salmon ribbons. You can purchase Willow Creek Olive Estate’s Spanish-Style Green Olives here.

Greek-Style Black Olives

Naturally fermented black olives are prepared in the traditional Greek style, which means it has been cured in brine. This style of black olive is made by natural fermentation only and entails all cultivars like Mission, Kalamata, Leccino, and Piqual.

Greek-style black olives range in colour from brownish-purple to dark purple. These olives have a fleshy texture, and a slightly bitter but fruity olive taste. Greek-style black olives can be used in various pasta dishes and pair well with herbs, garlic, capers, and anchovies. It can also be used as a delicious pizza topping. You can purchase Willow Creek Olive Estate’s Greek-Style Black Olives here.

Californian-Style Black Olives

Californian-style black olives are harvested when they are still green or half-ripe and are lye treated for a few weeks until all the bitterness has been removed. They are then coloured with calcium chloride salts and iron salts (ferrous gluconate) to create a uniform, pitch-black colour.

In Summary

Whether you prefer Spanish or Greek-style table olives, you can rest assured that Willow Creek Olive Estate’s award-winning product range won’t leave you wanting. But don’t just take our word for it. Head over to our e-shop to try out our delicious table olive range:

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