The Niçoise Olive
Only grown in the French Riviera with a low crop yield, Niçoise Olives are mostly sold and eaten domestically. These deep brown olives have little flesh with a large pit.
- The Niçoise Olive is grown in Cote d'Azur - a region of the French Riviera.
- Niçoise trees are intermediate in growth coming to fruition in their fourth year. The tree is a low to average producer with alternating crops from year to year.
- The Niçoise tree is self-furtile.
- Because of its more southern location, the maturation period of this olive is at the beginning of December through the middle of January.
- Natural brine fermentation is practiced in curing the Niçoise with a salinity of 7%. The olive can take up to six months to cure.
- An ovoid shaped olive, symmetric - rounded apex with no nipple.
- The color ranges from deep brown to black.
- Niçoise olives are one of the smallest olives cultivated with very little flesh between the snappy skin and large pit.
- The flavor of a good Niçoise is smooth with some bitterness and a nutty flavor. These olives certainly have some intensity for their size.
- Even with their large pit, the Niçoise is also used for olive oil with a nice sized oil yield. Some say the olive oil has the taste of fresh almonds and hazelnuts.
Pairings & Recipe Ideas:
- Cheese pairing: Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged blue
- Wine pairing: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
- Calamari Salad with Niçoise & Picholine Olives
- Classic Niçoise Salad with Tuna
- Topping for poached fish
Did You Know...?
- Because the true Niçoise isn't a large crop (with harvests rarely exceeding 50 metric tons), most companies and olive importers grab Niçoise Style Olives from Italy, Spain or Moracco. Most any olive you see in the market that is identified as a "Niçoise" isn't from Cote d'Azur.
- At DeLallo, we procure our Niçoise Style Olives from Morocco, whose typical harvest is around 1000 metric tons.