What are Kalamata olives?

Posted by Anna 28am30Europe/Athens_f2022Thu, 28 Apr 2022 10:51:20 +030004am30_20102022Thu, 28 Apr 2022 10:51:20 +030030 0 Comment(s) Magazine,Interesting facts about olives,Interesting facts about mezes,


The Kalamata Olive (also called Kalamon Olive) is considered the queen of Greek olives. In a country where the olive tree is a symbol of honor and culture, that's a big word. What is special about the Kalamata Olive? It might be their distinctive spicy aroma, their characteristic thick skin or possibly the downright regal nutritional content. 



Origin & Processing 


The Kalamata olive is native on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece and originates in the Messenia region. In the meantime, it is also grown to a large extent in Laconia and mostly harvested by hand from the robust, undemanding olive trees.


The right level of maturity


Kalamata olives are muted in dark violet, light brown or black. But where does this color come from – why aren't they green like many other well-known varieties of olives? Are Kalamata olives colored? No, of course the source of the colour is not artificial. In contrast to many other olive varieties, the Kalamata olive is usually harvested in late autumn. They are therefore harvested when ripe and are therefore no longer green! Incidentally, it is crucial to achieve exactly the right degree of ripeness for the harvest.




The harvest time of the Kalamata olive is a special experience and the preparations are often already observed from late summer. A great reason for a holiday in Greece in the off-season. To harvest, spread mesh nets under the trees and shake the branches until the ripe fruit has fallen and can be collected.

For MANI, the gentle extraction of their Olives is the be-all and end-all. After they have been carefully taken from the trees, they are harvested using the traditional Greek method the bitter substances are removed (fermented) and their durability is ensured. Since the taste of the freshly harvested Kalamata olives is extremely bitter, it usually takes several months before they taste good.


Kalamata olives can also be made edible quickly industrially: by placing them in a special caustic soda, then washing and pasteurizing, they are debittered in no time at all and have a good shelf life. However, this form of production also robs the Kalamata olive of its healthy nutrients. For this reason, MANI has opted for a fermentation process. The olives are placed in a water-sea salt brine for four to eight months. The fermentation process develops lactic acid bacteria, which naturally debitter and preserve the olives. The fermentation extends the manufacturing process significantly, but at the same time ensures high-quality and sustainable Raw food quality!



Kalamata olives in production


Kalamata olives benefit from gentle processing




Greek olives vary in size, shape, colour, nutritional as well as ingredients and not to forget their taste: The Kalamata or Kalamon Olive stands out aromatically from the broad mass of Greek olive varieties. Naturally bitter, it develops an extremely intense taste of its own during the debittering process. The successful mixture of salty seasoning and a balanced fruit aroma transports gourmets to a world of taste of a special kind. Its delicate aroma makes it a popular table olive, but of course also an olive oil contender. Although Kalamata olives are comparatively rarely processed into oil, when it does, the result is rather tasty!


Features & Effect 


The fruits of the “Kalamata tree” taste fresh and invigorating, but how healthy are Kalamata olives really? With their wealth of sodium, iron, vitamins, healthy fatty acids and natural antioxidants, they have a positive effect on the human body.


Kalamata fruits are said to have the following abilities: 

  • Cardiovascular protection
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack
  • Prevention of cancer
  • Protection of nerve cells
  • Reduce LDL cholesterol
  • Regulation of digestion
  • Metabolism-stimulating effect
  • Antiviral and anti-inflammatory effect
  • Positive effects on skin health


Ingredients & Nutritional information


Kalamata olives bring many healthy benefits to the table. They provide their consumers with valuable:

  • Vitamins: B1, B2, B6 , C, E, folic acid and beta-carotene
  • Minerals: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium
  • Trace elements: iron and zinc
  • Polyphenolic secondary metabolites: phenols, polyphenols, flavonoids and sterols


The oil content of an olive depends on the variety, but also on the growing area, local climate, soil and harvest time. With around 17% oil content, the Kalamata olive is in a low category among Greek olives. For comparison: The Koroneiki olive, the classic Greek oil olive, contains up to 20-25% oil. Compared to the smaller Koroneiki olive, the Kalamata olive contains more water. Among other things, this affects the nutritional content: 



Nutritional information MANI Kalamata olives al naturale

pro 100 g on average




1 g




of which saturated fatty acids 


3.4 g


3.5 g


on average 252 kcal




Extremely healthy and delicious - if that's not one is an unbeatable combination. When cooking, on the set table as well as in oil production! What role do Kalamata olives play in (Greek) cuisine and for what purpose are they mainly used nowadays?

  • In the salad: Kalamata olives are perfectly suited to salad dishes. And without olives, the Greek salad is just any salad …
  • For baking: In Greece olives often find their way into the oven. How about a plucked bread refined with chopped Kalamata olives for the next barbecue?
  • As a starter or side dish: Greek Appetizers are a feast in themselves – and exquisite table olives often play the leading role
  • On pizza, sandwich, wrap or burger : Olive slices give pizza, wraps, sandwiches or burgers an excellent flavor and also a natural health boost
  • As a spread: Olives from Kalamata make a tasty spread - the so-called „olive paste"
  • For olive oil: The area of ​​application of the Kalamon Olive is by no means limited to its function as a table olive or kitchen helper. Olive oil from Kalamata is rare, but of exquisite quality!


Kalamata olives on the Greek olive tree


Kalamata olives become common harvested in late summer




In the world of Greek olives, the Kalamata Olive truly deserves the red carpet treatment. Due to its comparatively thick skin, it can mature sufficiently on the tree and can be harvested and transported at the ideal degree of ripeness without any problems. It has an exquisite taste, is largely handpicked and convinces with healthy ingredients.

It is not only in Greece that people appreciate carefully processed olives. So that their natural, mildly spicy aroma comes into its own, they are often only enjoyed with herbs and fresh bread. MANI Managing Director Felix Bläuel also likes to eat his olives when they are processed as simply as possible. This philosophy defines MANI and is reflected in the gentle production and, of course, in every single olive grove.






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