Olive varieties: What are they?

Posted by Anna 28pm30Europe/Athens_f2023Wed, 28 Jun 2023 13:30:54 +030006pm30_54012023Wed, 28 Jun 2023 13:30:54 +030030 0 Comment(s) Magazine,Interesting facts about olives,


Olive fans will never run out of inspiration in the kitchen, that's for sure! The world of olive varieties is colorful, diverse, and full of flavor. The green-black gold and its corresponding drupes are available for almost every taste and occasion. If you want to get a real overview, the best thing to do is to start tasting right away. To try all the olive varieties in the world, you'll need to take quite a mouthful.




How do olive varieties differ from each other?



The selection of olive varieties is extremely diverse. But how many olive varieties are there actually? In Greece alone, there are over 60 different varieties, and worldwide, the number is estimated to be over 1000.


The individual olive varieties differ in many ways. While some olives are exclusively suitable for olive oil production, others shine as table olives. With table olives, particular emphasis is placed on having a small pit and a pronounced flesh-to-pit ratio. On the other hand, oil olives prioritize the oil content.


There are also "all-rounders" among the olive varieties that are equally suitable for oil production and for fruity consumption.



Apart from their use, size, color, and taste also play a crucial role:



Size: Table olives are often larger than oil olives. In general, the size of olives varies between approximately one and two centimeters.


Taste: Each olive variety brings its own taste to the table. It is generally said that green olives tend to have a more intense and bitter taste, while black olives are associated with a mild fruity aroma.


Color: The color of olives is usually directly related to their ripeness. Initially, all olives have a green color, which darkens during the ripening process. Note: Some producers use coloring agents to achieve a dark appearance.


Texture: The firmness of the flesh depends on the harvest time and the variety. Firm flesh often indicates an early harvest.




Different olive varieties at MANI


Olive varieties differ in size, color, and taste, among other factors.





Which countries produce the best olives?



The European Mediterranean region is known for producing exceptionally tasty olives. Italy, Spain, and Greece are credited with producing top-quality stone fruits. France and Turkey also excel in meeting the needs of olive trees.


However, first-class olives are also produced far beyond the borders of Europe. They are grown all around the globe, from Morocco to Argentina, the United States to Australia, and many other countries!




Olive Varieties from Greece



The following alphabetical list shows the olive varieties that typically thrive in Greece:






Manzanill Prista 









Konservolia (Amfissa)




Lianolia Kerkyras


Lianolia Kerkyras




Among the Greek olive varieties, the Koroneiki, Kalamata, and Konservolia olives are particularly popular.




Koroneiki Olive



With an average size of 12.5 mm and a weight of at least 1 g, the Koroneiki olive is relatively small but definitely big on flavor. The queen of oil olives has an intense aroma and stands out with a fresh fruity taste. Almost one-third of all Greek olive oils are produced from Koroneiki olives. Additionally, it boasts a high content of healthy fatty acids.


The Koroneiki olive is native to the southern Peloponnese. However, its distribution area has expanded to additional regions on the Peloponnese and the island of Crete.




Kalamata Olive



The Kalamata olive is also loyal to the Peloponnese peninsula. It mainly thrives in the regions of Messenia and Laconia. These dark-looking table olives bask not only in the Greek summer light but also enjoy great popularity worldwide.


Thanks to their mild and juicy flavor, they are excellent for adding that "special something" to various appetizers and main dishes. They pair well with salad, hummus, or tzatziki and make an excellent pizza topping.




Konservolia Olive



As an oil olive, Konservolia is extremely rare in use, but it is often served at the (appetizer) table. It brings flavor to the kitchen and impresses with a crunchy and juicy texture.


This olive variety finds ideal growing conditions in central Greece and the northern Greek region of Epirus. There are also Konservolia olive trees reaching towards the sky on the Greek islands. Depending on their degree of ripeness and harvest time, these olives can have either green, transitioning, or black "skins."


Good to know: Konservolia olives are often referred to as Amfissa olives.





Olive Varieties at MANI



MANI specializes in Greek olive varieties, particularly Kalamata, Konservolia, and Koroneiki. The latter is mainly used for olive oil production. All three varieties are ideal for organic farming and benefit from natural growing conditions and gentle processing.


To ensure high quality and taste, MANI olives are mostly handpicked and undergo fermentation instead of pasteurization. This preserves all the natural nutrients that contribute to the olive's health-conscious reputation.


If you want to bring the flavors of Greece into your home, MANI offers a wide selection of organic olives. How about an extra spicy mix of Konservolia and Kalamata olives, marinated with chili and herbs?


Tags: olives
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